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Train Derailment Crushes Man Under Gravel

Credit: Simon Yeo

A train conductor has died after several freight cars derailed near the SunRail station in Sanford Thursday morning. In a statement, the Florida Highway Patrol identified the victim as being 36-year-old Christopher Putfark of Deltona.

The derailment occurred on a track where construction is currently underway. The station is located at State Road 46 and Airport Boulevard. Florida Department of Transportation and Florida Highway Patrol officials say that a train that was pushing 10 freight cars loaded with gravel when four of the cars derailed from the tracks. The incident happened at about 6:30 a.m.

Officials say that Putfark was on the outside of the cars acting as a spotter. He was killed as a result of being crushed under the falling car and then buried in the gravel that spilled in the accident. Seminole County emergency personnel wheeled a stretcher to the scene as a crane was brought in to lift the turned-over rail car that pinned and killed Putfark. The aggregate inside the car would’ve increased the weight to more than 189,000 pounds.

At a press conference this morning, FHP Sgt. Kim Montes told reporters that the investigation was in its early stages, and the cause of the derailment hadn’t been determined.

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