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Four crew injured in Texas freight train collisions

(Reuters) - Four crew members were injured Wednesday after collisions involving three freight trains spilled debris and overturned at least one engine near Amarillo, Texas, officials said.

The crashes of three trains belonging to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway happened early Wednesday about eight miles east of Amarillo, company spokesman Joseph Faust said.

A train traveling east struck another train that was stopped ahead of it on the tracks, spilling 20 to 30 semi trailers from flatbed cars onto the westbound tracks, where the wreckage was struck by a train headed west, Faust said.

"There were several cars derailed, I don't know exactly how many," said Trooper Chris Ray, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. "I can remember seeing an engine overturned."

Faust said two crew members were treated and released from an area hospital and two who were originally listed as being transported with critical injuries were expected to be released later after examinations found they did not have broken bones.

It was not immediately clear what cargo the trains were carrying, but Faust said there was no risk of hazardous materials being spilled.

Crews are investigating the collisions and there will be a delay of about 36 hours for customers who were expecting shipments across that area, Faust said.

"We anticipate that the estimated cleanup of the derailment and the movement of traffic will begin probably within the next 24 hours and customers will begin to receive their shipments within the next 36 hours," Faust said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The railway operates one of the largest freight transportation networks in the United States.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray and David Bailey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andre Grenon)

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