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Two teens killed on railroad tracks were playing 'Ghost Train' game, coroner says

Two Missouri girls were playing a deadly game on a railroad track when they were killed by an Amtrak train early Tuesday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The teens were playing “Ghost Train,” in which a vehicle is parked on the tracks, according to Butler County Coroner Jim Akers.

During the game, passengers let the windows fog up for a scary setting and then drive off when a train approaches, Akers said, according to the Post-Dispatch.

"They were playing a stupid game called ‘Ghost Train,’ and the object is to get scared, kind of like telling stories on Halloween," Akers said.

Akers said five teens were in a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee on the tracks as an Amtrak train approached a crossing about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday near Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri. When the Cherokee wouldn't start, three teens were able to get out, but two panicked and couldn’t unbuckle their seatbelts. The driver returned to help but was in the vehicle when the train hit it, Akers told the Post-Dispatch.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Victoria Swanson, 15, and Haley Whitmer, 17, were killed and Kaitlyn Fowler, 15, was hospitalized in critical condition. All were from Poplar Bluff.

Akers told the Post-Dispatch that parents of the victims said the girls had played the game before.

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