A freight train in Texas has crashed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans en route to a charity benefit in Midland, Texas, killing four people and injuring 16 others.
The crash happened at a railroad crossing in the city of Midland, as the flat-bed truck was on its way to an event honoring wounded US veterans.
The crossing gate and lights were reportedly working and an investigation is under way. One eyewitness said the float became stuck at the crossing.
The veterans and relatives were heading to a banquet, which has been cancelled.
According to the local officials, the float hit by the train was the second being pulled along the parade route. The first had already safely crossed the railroad.
Officials say the eastbound train was sounding its horn before it struck the float with 26 people on board.
Panic reportedly swept through those on the trailer as the locomotive approached, with eyewitnesses saying some people jumped off the float.
The crash happened at a railroad crossing in the city of Midland, as the flat-bed truck was on its way to an event honoring wounded US veterans
Patricia Howle, who was waiting at a nearby traffic light, told KOSA-TV: “People on the trailer saw the train coming and they were flying in every direction.
“I covered my face. I didn’t want to see.”
“I’ve been through five combat tours, and this is worse than probably, getting blown up,” Michael Morris, who said a good friend had died in the accident, told the Odessa-American.
Spokesman Tom Lange said a preliminary investigation indicated the crossing gate and lights were working at the time, though he said he did not know if the train crew had seen the float approaching.
“There is going to be a very thorough investigation,” Tom Lange said.
“It’s obviously a very tragic incident.”
Eyewitness Daniel Quinonez said the second float “could not go anywhere because of the other one being right in front of it”.
“I just saw the people on the semi-truck’s trailer panic, and many started to jump off the trailer,” Daniel Quinonez told the Associated Press news agency.
“But it was too late for many of them because the train impacted the trailer so fast,” he added.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson says his agency is investigating the crash.
Ten of the 16 injured people were later released from hospital, but at least one person remained in critical condition.
Santa Claus, Ronald McDonald and a cast of thousands bring you the 79th Anniversary of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, marching down State Street on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2012.
Whether you’re moving your feet to the melodic carols of marching bands, gazing skyward at the gigantic inflatable helium balloons making their way down the street, or waving at talented entertainers in decorative floats dispensing holiday cheer, there is fun to be had by all at the biggest holiday parade in Chicago.
The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is the only parade in the city of Chicago to feature inflatable balloons every year.
Started in the times of the Great Depression, the Parade has been lifting the spirits of Chicago and bringing the community together in celebration. Over 400,000 people lines the parade route on State Street.
The 79th Anniversary of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade will march down Chicago’s State Street on November 22nd, 2012
2012 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade Chicago Facts
Date: Thursday, November 22, 2012 – Thanksgiving Day
Time: 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. CST.
Place: Downtown Chicago on State Street -from Congress to Randolph
Find more details here
The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin on Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 9 a.m.
The parade travels down Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square (34th Street).
There will be a new parade route for 2012, but the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will still begin at 77th Street & Central Park West and end at Macy’s Herald Square.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Public Viewing Areas
• Central Park West: West side of street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle & east side of street from 70th to 65th
• Columbus Circle: West side of street
• 6th Avenue: between 58th & 34th Streets
• 34th Street: south side of street between Broadway & 7th Avenue
The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin on Thursday, November 22, 2012, at 9 am
Tips For Attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
In order to get a good viewing spot, many people arrive before 6:30 a.m. the morning of the parade to stake out space along the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route. Be sure to wear plenty of warm clothes and bring a thermos full of coffee or hot cocoa, as it can be quite cold. The duration of the parade depends on where you view it from – near the beginning of the route, it will last about 1 1/2 hours, closer to Macy’s, the parade will last closer to 3 hours. You can also book a hotel room with a view of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. For meeker, the parade will be aired on NBC from 9 a.m. until noon.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation
If you’d like to get a chance to see the balloons as they get blown up, on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 you can watch the inflation of the 25 parade balloons from 3 – 10 p.m. near the American Museum of Natural History just off Central Park West between 77th St. and 81st St.
Find more here