LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Authorities are investigating the cause of a freight
train derailment in southern New Mexico that killed three railroad employees
when the train’s locomotive plunged 40 feet down a ravine.
Police on Sunday identified the three as 38-year-old Donald White, 60-year-old
Steven Corse and 50-year-old Ann Thompson. White lived in Silver City, N.M., and
Corse and Thompson lived in the northern Arizona community of Paulden.
No other people were on the train.
State Police spokesman Emmanuel T. Gutierrez said it’s unknown what caused
Saturday afternoon’s derailment near the community of Bayard, about 75 miles
northwest of Las Cruces. It’s unclear what preceded the derailment.
The eight rail cars being pulled by the locomotive weren’t forced into the
ravine. Instead, they remained either on or near the tracks. At least half of
the eight train cars had tilted on their sides, but none of the iron ore being
carried by the train had spilled out.
Photos taken by investigators show the locomotive on its side in the ravine.
The train was operated by Southwest Railroad Inc.
Brian Beaty, manager of operators for safety and compliance for the rail
company, says the company expects a cause for the derailment to be issued at
some point Sunday.