Five Critically Hurt After Trains Collide In NW Arkansas

Oct 16, 2014

The Arkansas and Missouri Railroad excursion train involved in Thursday's crash, as photographed in June at the Van Buren station.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Authorities say a freight train has collided with a sight-seeing passenger train in northwest Arkansas, critically injuring about five people.

The passenger train was carrying tourists on a fall-foliage tour in the Ozark Mountains when the accident occurred Thursday near Winslow, about 175 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Washington County Emergency Management Director John Luther says 50 people were aboard the two trains, and 37 were able to walk away from the accident.

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad spokesman Ron Sparks says about five people were critically hurt, including a conductor who was airlifted to a hospital with possible back injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board says its investigators are heading to the scene. Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Rick Fahr says it's unclear whether the trains crashed head-on.