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Feds Continue to Probe Fatal Train Accident

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Washburn, NDA federal investigation continues into a March train accident that claimed the life of a railroad worker.

On March 25, two Dakota Missouri Valley & Western Railroad engines derailed on an embankment south of Washburn, North Dakota, just above Turtle Creek, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The train accident resulted in the death of Jeff Heitzman, a 46-year-old railroad worker from Mandon, North Dakota.

Another man was able to escape the train wreck with injuries that were treated in a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The status of the accident is still listed as pending with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Rob Kulat, an FRA spokesman, told the news source that investigations into fatal accidents can sometimes take one year to complete.

During the train accident, two 175 ton-engines derailed and fell to a lower bank. Workers were able to remove three other engines that hovered above the bank.

If railroad workers are injured on the job, their sole avenue to collect compensation may be through the Federal Employers Liability Act of 1908 (FELA).


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