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Investigator: Train was going authorized speed

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Freight train that derailed, Ellicott City, Maryland

Freight train that derailed, Ellicott City, Maryland (AP Image)

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) – A federal investigator says a coal train that derailed in Maryland was going the authorized speed 25 miles per hour with the engineer-in-training at the controls.

Two 19-year-old college students were killed around midnight Monday while sitting on a rail bridge in the historic section of Ellicott City as the train passed a few feet behind them. Their bodies were found buried in spilled coal.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jim Southworth said Wednesday that his team was still gathering facts and wouldn’t speculate on the cause of the derailment.

Southworth says 18 of the 21 derailed cars have been removed. It could be another two days before the area is clear.

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