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Train conductor killed in train derailment in El Paso, Texas

<i>From El Paso Fire Department/Twitter</i><br/>A train derailment in El Paso
From El Paso Fire Department/Twitter
A train derailment in El Paso

By Chris Boyette, Rebekah Riess and Zoe Sottile, CNN

A train conductor was killed in a train derailment in El Paso, Texas, late Monday night, officials said.

Two train cars derailed, damaging a backyard shed, a fence, and a gas meter and leading to the evacuation of about 50 people from nearby homes, according to the El Paso Fire Department.

The victim was identified as 49-year-old Mario Aurelio Navarro, a conductor for Union Pacific, according to a news release from the El Paso Police Department. When the train derailed at around 10:30 pm in El Paso, one rail car flipped onto its side, then crashed into a backyard, striking the gas meter and causing a gas leak, say police.

A derailment device installed earlier that day while work was performed on the tracks had not been removed by the time of the crash, police said.

Despite this, the train engineer was given permission to proceed.

“As the conductor was guiding the engineer into the rail yard, the derailment device effected the derailment and the conductor was hit by the train car after it flipped onto its side,” said police in the release.

Union Pacific expressed their support for the victim’s loved ones.

“Our thoughts are with the employee’s family and coworkers,” the railroad said in a statement.

The damaged gas line was shut down and the evacuation has been lifted, the fire department said. According to Union Pacific, the Texas Gas Company has secured the gas line that was ruptured in the derailment.

No other injuries were reported, the department added.

The derailment is under investigation by the El Paso Police Department. CNN has reached out to the fire department and the El Paso Police Department for more information.

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