Train vs truck crash after truck with crane stalled at railroad crossing in Mer Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, October 5, 2014.
Mer Rouge volunteer firefighters and Morehouse Parish Sheriff deputies responded about 1:00 p.m. to a crash involving a freight train and a truck with a large crane.
Two freight train engineers were injured in the collision. One of the engineers was airlifted to Shreveport by medical transport helicopter, and the other was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. Both engineers were conscious, but suffered serious injuries.
The driver of the truck was uninjured, as he was able to evacuate his stalled truck, and run away as the collision occurred.
A Norfolk Southern locomotive and a locomotive with Southern Pacific markings, at least eight tanker cars, and then hopper cars were involved in the collision. One of the train cars that crashed and derailed was breached and leaked argon gas.
Argon gas is a non-toxic gas, but in high-concentration environments can cause dizziness, unconsciousness and asphyxia by displacing oxygen and normal air in the environment. Argon is more dense than air, so it is especially dangerous where unconscious people down near a crash scene could be asphyxiated as breathing air is displaced by the heavier argon gas near the ground.
First responders evacuated the area, but local residents were allowed back in their homes Sunday evening.
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