Trains collide head-on near Panhandle Tuesday morning

Tom Hinde

Two BNSF freight trains were involved in a head on collision near the city of Panhandle causing a massive fire. The collision occurred about 8:40 a.m. according to BNSF spokesman Joe Faust. Residents living nearby were evacuated, and local authorities asked city residents to limit their water use to allow firefighters to better battle the blaze. Several box cars derailed and were engulfed in flames. The fiery blaze was visible for miles.

BNSF has confirmed emergency personnel are searching for three crew members missing in the wreckage. Each train was carrying two crew members. According to reports, one crewman jumped before the trains collided and is being treated at a hospital. It's not known how fast the trains were traveling before the accident. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesman Keith Holloway confirmed the NTSB has opened an investigation.