BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WLS) --Two trespassers narrowly escaped on a rail bridge, according to the Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD), as a 14,000-ton freight train approached near Lake Lemon, Ind.
Video shows the women walking on a 500-foot-long, 80-foot-high bridge known as Shuffle Creek on July 10 at 6:50 a.m. They are shown running away from the train as the engineer applies the brakes to slow the 14,000-ton freight train down from 30mph, and sounds his horn.
"The engineer followed all appropriate protocols, immediately applying an emergency brake application and repeatedly sounded the horn. However, as the subjects ran toward the opposite end of the viaduct, the engineer was helpless to do more. The ever-slowing train was still catching up to the fleeing trespassers," according to a statement from the Indiana Rail Road.
Railroad tracks are private property, Indiana Rail Road officials remind the public. In this case, the engineer rounded the bend in the tracks to see the women. One of them almost falls trying to run to the end of the bridge. With the train just 30 feet away, they both eventually lie down between the tracks, and the train passes over them.
The train engineer assumed both women were dead, as the train came to stop past the point where they had lay down. However, both trespassers survived, escaped to a nearby vehicle and fled the scene, INRD said.
"In this case, not only did two trespassers narrowly escape a horrible death, but had the heavy train derailed due to the emergency brake application - which isn't uncommon - it could have taken down the bridge, possibly killing the engineer as well," said INRD president Tom Hoback. "The human, environmental and financial toll would have been enormous."
The INRD says that local law enforcement has identified the trespassers. It is not clear if criminal charges will be filed.
Lake Lemon is 10 miles northeast of Bloomington, Ind.