Two freight trains carrying fuel collided head-on and derailed Wednesday, injuring five train workers who jumped off moments before the crash.
“It’s a miracle they survived,” said Erica Stuart, a spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff’s Department.
One of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe workers was in critical condition. The others suffered minor injuries, she said.
The trains were carrying flammable pentane and other fuels but there was no explosion or spills, Stuart said.
A hazardous material team was called as a precaution and the tracks were closed for at least the day in Madera, about 150 miles southeast of San Francisco. Amtrak, which uses the same rails, had to bus passengers.
Officials were trying to figure out how the trains ended up on the same track. Burlington Northern Santa Fe was not immediately available for comment.