Monahans Police say the crash happened around 1:30 Wednesday morning. An Eastbound Union Pacific train crashed into another stationary train on the track while passing through Monahans.
“I couldn’t believe it you know? That it was the train…” one woman said, as she recalled hearing the crash while she was asleep in her home. Asteria Vasquez thought the sound of the train crash was thunder at first. She knew something was wrong, when the sound lasted for an extended amount of time.
Many residents like her, didn’t realize the two trains collided until later in the morning. Train cars could be seen toppled over on the side of the tracks and many Monahans residents stopped to take in the site. Monahans police directed traffic flow near Eva and Sealy while multiple crews arrived to the scene.
A representative from Union Pacific says train derailments like these, aren’t common in West Texas. In fact, this is the first time he’s seen one in a while. Spokesperson Jeff Degraff was able to connect with Local 2 via phone interview from Houston, and he says crews from both Union Pacific and the city will be working through the night to clear the wreckage and investigate the cause of the crash.
“All that will take close to 24 hours, we’ll be working all day and through the night tonight, so we can get all that taken care of, and be back up and running.”
There’s no confirmation on when the railroad track will be open for service again, however Degraff says crews will be investigating the railroad tracks as well as the train cars themselves in hopes of determining what cause.
Both train conductors involved in the crash were taken to the hospital for minor injuries and Degraff says they’re in stable condition and recovering from their injuries.