Sanford, FL Derailed Train Accident, Oct 2013
MAN CRUSHED BY DERAILED TRAIN IN SANFORD IDENTIFIED.
Sanford, Fla. - One person is dead in Sanford after he was crushed by one of four train cars filled with gravel that overturned Thursday morning.
Officials said they were called to the SunRail Station on State Road 46 at around 6:40 a.m.
According to Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson, a locomotive was pushing a contracted train hauling gravel to be used on the SunRail construction project when four of the 10 cars derailed. It wasn't immediately clear why the cars overturned.
"The individual on that back car was trapped underneath the car and the gravel," said Olson.
Heavy equipment, such as a front-end loader and backhoes, dug through the rubble and found a man's body partially pinned under an overturned rail car.
FDOT said heavier equipment has been requested and will be used to eventually move the overturned cars.
The victim, identified as CHRISTOPHER PUTFARK, 36, of Deltona, was working for the contractor Conrad Yelvington Distributors, Inc., that was delivering the gravel.
A fire department spokesman said PUTFARK was watching the train move down the rails and he was last heard yelling, "Derail, derail, derail!"
He fell under one of the falling cars, which weigh 170,000 pounds, and was crushed.
It took more than three hours to get him out from under the car.
The Florida Highway Patrol will be the lead investigative agency. They will be talking to any and all people on site.
"We've got to look at everything. We've got to look at the track, the train, the speed," said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes. "Taking measurements, talking to people, talking to witnesses, looking at the movements of the train and then once we have our findings, we'll present our information."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Rail Authority are figuring out what role they play in the investigation.
Seminole County's Special Hazards and Operations Team, SWAT, Sanford Fire Department, Florida Highway Patrol and the FBI were all at the accident location.
The derailment did not happen on the main rail line, so train traffic can still pass without a problem.
Central Florida News Seminole 2013-10-24