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A prison bus slammed into a moving train in West Texas on Wednesday, killing two corrections officers and eight prisoners, officials said. Another five people — an officer and four prisoners — were taken to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa in serious or critical condition.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice transport bus was traveling west on Interstate 20 near Odessa when it hit a slick spot on an overpass that runs above train tracks, Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson said. The bus careened off the overpass, down an embankment and hit the side of a moving train. The train was not a passenger train, and no one on it was hurt, Donaldson said.
The bus was carrying 12 inmates and three corrections officers from a lockup in Abilene to another in El Paso, the Criminal Justice Department said. "It's with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of those killed and injured this morning in a tragic accident. Their loved ones will be in our thoughts and prayers," Brad Livingston, executive director of the Criminal Justice Department, said in a statement.
The Medical Center Hospital was not on lockdown, but it's on what spokeswoman Tiffany Harston called "controlled entry" to help ER doctors and nurses do their job amid the chaos.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were headed to the scene Monday afternoon, the agency said.