December 14, 2016 Edition

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Investigators believe fatigue
was cause of fatal train crash

In a report released on Dec. 6, the National Transportation Safety Board listed fatigue as the leading cause for the 2014 train crash at Hoxie that resulted in the death of two Union Pacific workers.

"The southbound train conductor was likely asleep at the time of the accident due to the variability of his shift start times," the report stated.

It also stated that the train's engineer was also fatigued and likely asleep due to his diagnosed, but inadequately treated, moderate sleep apnea.

Also listed as a cause was an automatic horn that improperly reset alarms. The report stated that an automatic horn incorrectly reset alarms designed to ensure crew members remained alert.

"The southbound train crew did not respond to the three restrictive signals immediately prior to the collision and took no action to slow or stop the train," the report states.

The collision, which occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on Aug. 17, 2014, resulted in two deaths and two injuries. Highways leading into Hoxie were closed, and residents in the area had to be evacuated due to hazardous materials on the train.

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