updated 10/2/2008 7:57:25 PM ET 2008-10-02T23:57:25

Federal railroad regulators have issued an emergency order prohibiting the use of personal electronic devices by rail workers operating trains and performing other key jobs.

The Federal Railroad Administration issued the order Thursday. It says violators will be subject to civil penalties and removed from "safety-sensitive" jobs.

The order comes a day after federal investigators announced that a Metrolink engineer sent a text message from his cell phone 22 seconds before his commuter train crashed into a freight train last month. The crash in suburban Chatsworth killed 25 people, including the engineer.

The FRA says the order will be published in the Federal Register in a few days and will take effect 20 days from publication.

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