Two trains collided about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday along Highway 60 east of Panhandle.
The City of Panhandle is issuing a voluntary evacuation for people south of 7th Street east of Highway 207. People choosing to evacuate can evacuate to the War Memorial.
Crews have been working on the fire for hours. City of Panhandle officials have asked people using that water system to restrict water usage.
BNSF officials confirms in a statement “the lead locomotives on two intermodal trains collided near Panhandle.” They say four BNSF employees were involved. They say one employee was taken to a hospital about 9 a.m. and is being treated.
“Rescue efforts are underway at the scene with respect to the three other railroad employees involved in the incident,” according to the statement.
BNSF spokesman Joe Faust says it is a safe assumption that the employee at a local hospital jumped from the train before the collision. He confirmed the man is in stable condition.
The trains were going from Chicago to Los Angeles and San Bernardino to Chicago.
“BNSF is a leader in Postive Train Control Technology and the east bound train was using that technology,” Faust said. “It will take some time to open the track. The train was taking mixed consumer media, nothing that would cause a biohazard risk.”
Officials closed Highway 60 for a few hours, but they have re-opened it.
Several area agencies have responded, including the Texas Forest Service and Pantex.
Water, food, eye drops, wipes, and money donations for first responders are being accepted at the Methodist Church on Main in Panhandle.
The Salvation Army is on the scene. They’re serving 200 meals for lunch and plan to serve 200 dinners. They also say they’re available for spiritual and emotional support. To donate to the Salvation Army, go to www.salvationarmytexas.org/Amarillo or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and specify Amarillo.