Two conductors who got out of their freight train to follow up on an alert that there was a problem with one or more of the train's wheels were struck and killed by a passenger train near Union Station in Washington DC, the AP reports. The CSX employees were responding Tuesday night after one of the detectors that are placed along the tracks about every 25 miles identified an abnormality, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Wednesday at a news conference. He could not say if the operator of the Amtrak train saw the CSX employees before hitting them but said that's being investigated. He said there were "few definitive facts at this early stage."
The CSX employees were struck by an Amtrak train that was traveling from Boston and New York. Amtrak said none of the train's passengers or crew were injured in the accident. CSX said in a statement that the names of the employees were being withheld for their families' privacy. Amtrak service was suspended between Washington and Philadelphia after the two employees were struck, but service resumed Wednesday morning, with delays. Riders traveling on two commuter train lines could expect major delays Wednesday and possible train cancellations, said transit officials in Maryland. (Read more train accident stories.)