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Train Kills Pair Fishing on Bridge Near Chilhowie, Virginia

CHILHOWIE, Va. -- A 52-year-old man and a girl were hit by a train and killed Sunday while fishing from a railroad bridge, and a boy who was with them survived by dropping roughly 30 feet to the ground below, officials said. The Norfolk Southern train was traveling near Chilhowie in rural southwestern Virginia about 2 p.m. when its crew saw the group and put on the emergency brakes, spokesman Robin Chapman said. The man and the seven-year-old girl tried to stand off to the side on the bridge, but were still hit by the train.

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"There's no room on a trestle. When the train comes by, it takes up the entire width of the bridge," he said. The eight-year-old boy dropped between the rails, which were about 25 to 30 feet high. He was initially reported missing, but showed up at a relative's house several hours later. He was not injured. The bridge was about 200 feet long. The mixed freight train consisted of three locomotives and 74 cars and the track speed was 45 mph. Chapman said a train that size traveling at that speed would take about 1 mile to stop.

- The Associated Press