Dallas: At least four persons were killed and 17 others injured when a goods train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday.
The incident happened when the float, en route to an honorary banquet, was attempting to cross a West Texas railroad.
An official said the driver of the eastbound train sounded horn before slamming into the trailer float around 4:40 pm in Midland.
The official said the crossing gate and lights were functional but could not confirm whether the train crew managed to see the approaching float.
Agency reports said two people died at the scene, while two others died at Midland Memorial Hospital, City of Midland spokesman Ryan Stout said. Seven of those injured are in critical condition, while the 10 others are in stable condition, he said.
About two dozen veterans and their spouses had been sitting in chairs on the float, set up on the back of a flatbed tractor-trailer decorated with American flags and signs identifying each veteran, photos show.
The float was among two flat-bed trucks carrying veterans and their spouses, police said. The first truck safely crossed the railroad tracks, but the second truck`s trailer was hit by the train. Police said some of the people on the second trailer were able to evacuate before the crash.
A banner across the truck`s front bumper read, "Heroes on Board."
The parade was to end at a "Hunt for Heroes" banquet honouring the veterans. The wounded service members were then going to be treated to a deer-hunting trip this weekend. The events have been cancelled.
(With Agency inputs)