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Seven injured in Missouri as trains collide, trigger highway bridge collapse

Msnbc's Craig Melvin takes a look at some of the dramatic images from southeast Missouri, where two freight trains collided and derailed, triggering the collapse of a highway overpass after slamming into a support pillar.

Two freight trains collided and derailed early Saturday in southeast Missouri, then triggered the collapse of a highway overpass when several rail cars struck a support pillar.

Seven people were injured, including two personnel on the trains and five individuals in cars on the overpass on Highway M near Scott City, about 120 miles south of St. Louis, NBC affiliate KSDK reported. All the injured were treated for minor injuries and released.

The collision occurred before dawn at a rail intersection. 

"One train T-boned the other one and caused it to derail, and the derailed train hit a pillar which caused the overpass to collapse," Scott County Sheriff's dispatcher Clay Slipis told Reuters.

The crash, which involved BNSF Railway Co and Union Pacific trains, also ignited a fire when diesel fuel leaked from one of the train engines, Slipis said.

The crash came just over a week after a commuter train derailed in Connecticut, striking another train and injuring more than 70 people during the evening rush hour.

On Friday, a truck crash caused the collapse of a bridge in Washington state, sending two cars plunging into the Skagit River. Three people were rescued.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it had dispatched a team to investigate the train crash. 

Union Pacific said its train had been primarily carrying auto parts from Illinois to Texas. The Union Pacific locomotive and about a dozen cars derailed in the crash.

BNSF said that its train had been hauling scrap metal from salvage facilities and was heading south along the Missouri River. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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