HOXIE, Ark. – The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a deadly train crash in Lawrence County.
Sunday, Two Union Pacific freight trains collided head on, near the tracks off Highway 67.
Two crew members were killed, another two members were injured.
“The skies were just black it didn’t look like it was night time. There were no stars you could see. It was just black covered in smoke,” said 10 year-old evacuee Jimmy Allred.
Right now, investigators say they have no idea how the two moving Union Pacific trains slammed together.
“It’s scary when you live that close to a train. You never know what they’re carrying and what’s going to happen,” said evacuee Shirley Story.
The freight trains carried toxic chemicals. A spill from the crash forced dozens of families to flee their homes before dawn.
“We went outside. You could smell horrible things,” said Allred.
Allred and his family didn`t even have enough time to grab their family pets. They rushed out of their home and spent the day at a makeshift shelter at a nearby community center.
“It was the scariest day of my life,” said Allred.
Shirley Story and her mother have both lived near the train tracks off Highway 67 for decades.
Sunday was the first day they’ve ever been forced to leave their homes.
“It’s scary. It kinds of turns your stomach to know you don’t know what you’re going back into,” said Story.
By Sunday afternoon, some families were allowed to go back home. But for those living closest to the crash and chemical spill, they’re just waiting to see when that hour will come.
Most of the roadblocks were also removed with the exceptions of Highway 67 south of Highway 63 and at Highway 230.
Investigators could be at the crash site for several days. They have not identified the two victims killed.
It’s also not known what toxic chemicals the trains were carrying.