According to the El Paso Fire Department, a Union Pacific railroad employee died after a train derailment in the Riverside area of the Lower Valley on August 29, 2022.
The employee killed in the derailment was identified as train conductor, Mario Aurelio Navarro. He died at the scene after he was struck by a train car during the derailment, according to El Paso police officials. Nearby homes along Barton Street near Franklin Drive were evacuated as a precaution.
An investigation revealed that a derailment device was installed during work that was being done on a portion of the track earlier that day. Unfortunately, the derailment device had not been removed when the train engineer was given clearance to proceed later that night. Mr. Navarro, the train’s conductor, was guiding the engineer into the rail yard when the train hit the derailment device, causing a rail car to flip on its side.
An investigation is still ongoing, but this unfortunate incident was likely avoidable and demonstrates the dangers that railroad workers face every day.