No cause determined in Union Pacific employee death

Continuing NTSB investigation will look at UP operating rules and condition of machine involved in January incident

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its preliminary report on a January incident that resulted in the death of a Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) worker in Vail, Arizona.

The investigation is ongoing and no cause has been determined, NTSB said.

The Jan. 31 incident occurred at 12:40 p.m. local time and involved a Union Pacific (UP) employee with 41 years of rail service who was struck by a piece of rail-bound maintenance equipment known as a track maintenance tamper (TMT). The TMT was tamping wood crossties on a main track near Vail.

The employee was airlifted to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries, NTSB said. 

More details of the incident are available here.

“Future investigative activity will focus on UP operating rules and the mechanical condition of the TMT. The investigation will also examine on-track safety procedures when employees are working at or near moving maintenance machines,” NTSB said.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.