Two women are very lucky to be alive after they found themselves face-to-face with a train this month on an 80-foot-high Indiana railroad bridge with nowhere to run.
In a video released Tuesday, a security camera captured the dramatic moment a 14,000-ton Indiana Rail Road freight train came around a curve at Lake Lemon, near Bloomington, only to find two women trespassing on a railroad bridge.
As the pair come into view, the train's conductor slams on the brakes and blows the horn. The two women are seen running for their lives. As the locomotive closes in, the pair, with nowhere else to turn, each slam their bodies down on the tracks in what they must have assumed were their final moments.
"One almost trips and falls off the bridge," Eric Powell, a spokesperson for Indiana Rail Road, told WTHR-TV. "The other one, miraculously, gets down."
As the train passes over them, the engineer assumed he had just killed two people and notified the local sheriff's department. But miraculously, the women were unhurt.
"When the trains topped, the two women crawled out from under the engine, started running this way," Powell told the station. "He yelled back and asked them, 'Are you OK?' One yelled she had stubbed her toe, (but was) otherwise fine. I'm sure their nerves were as shattered as his were."
The women then fled to a nearby vehicle and left the scene.
"The consequences of trespassing on railroad-owned property are never taken seriously by those choosing to do so, and this incident at Lake Lemon is one of the most glaring examples I've seen in more than 40 years in this business," Tom Hoback, CEO of Indiana Rail Road Company, said in a statement.
"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, Hoback continued. "The human, environmental and financial toll would have been enormous."
Jon Passantino is the Los Angeles bureau chief for BuzzFeed News.
Contact Jon Passantino at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.