ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) – Authorities say the two college students who were killed when a coal train derailed near Baltimore overnight had been drinking together and hanging out on the tracks where the derailment took place.
Twitter feeds with the same names as the victims indicate that the students — both 19-year-old women — had posted photos and comments from what appeared to be the bridge, shortly before the train derailed around midnight.
One of the photos showed what appeared to be two women’s legs dangling from a bridge. One woman wrote, “Drinking on top of the Ellicott City sign.” Another wrote that she was “looking down on old E-C.”
Rose Mayra was a student at the University of Delaware. She was killed along with her friend, Elizabeth Nass, who attended James Madison University in Virginia.
Two train operators weren’t harmed. The derailment overturned nearly two dozen railroad cars, including some that fell onto vehicles in a parking lot below the bridge. Officials have been using cranes to remove some of the cars.
A county official says the derailment left “massive piles of coal and heavy train cars on top of automobiles.” One woman who lives across the street from the tracks says she heard what sounded like squealing brakes, and then a huge crash.