Freight train derails killing US teens
BALTIMORE — A freight train derailed early yesterday while crossing an overpass west of Baltimore, spilling tons of coal on top of two 19-year-old women who were sitting on the bridge and killing them, police said.
The accident also crushed nearby cars and damaged telecommunications lines in the area, affecting data connections as far away as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where a pretrial hearing for five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks was delayed by a day as a result.
The derailment occurred just after midnight as a CSX Corp train was headed east through Ellicott City, about 12 miles west of Baltimore, Howard County Police said in a statement.
Police discovered the dead women during their early-morning investigation of the accident, the cause of which remains unknown. The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation.
The two women, identified as Ellicott City residents Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr, apparently were sitting on a ledge of the bridge over Ellicott City’s Main Street when the derailment occurred, police said
The police statement said the women had their backs to the train when it passed a few feet from them.
“For an unknown reason, the train derailed, causing open cars filled with coal to tip over,” the statement said. “Both Nass and Mayr were buried under the coal as it dumped from the train cars.”
The two had been sending Twitter messages shortly before the accident and police said they are aware of photos posted to Twitter that appear to have been sent from them on the bridge.
A tweet from Nass’s account, @LizNassty, sent shortly before the accident reads: “Drinking on top of the Ellicott City sign with @r0se_petals.”
One photo sent from Nass’s account showed two sets of bare feet dangling over a darkened street, with the caption “Levitating”. A second depicts a street illuminated by street and traffic lights and captioned: “Looking down on old ec,” an apparent abbreviation for Ellicott City. (Reuters)