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NTSB Errors led to BNSF train killing 2 in South Dakota

EDGEMONT, S.D. — Federal investigators say human errors led to a BNSF Railway train striking and killing two railroad workers in South Dakota last year.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its report Thursday on the Jan. 17, 2017, accident near Edgemont, South Dakota. A BNSF train traveling at 35 mph struck and killed two of three workers who had been clearing snow and ice from a track switch.

One of the workers killed was the designated lookout. According to the NTSB, the sight distance at the switch was inadequate for safely using a train approach warning method with only one lookout.

Investigators also found the lookout did not devote his full attention to detecting approaching trains, and was not given the necessary equipment.

BNSF says it will review the report and recommendations.