Three Railroad Employees Presumed Dead After Fiery Crash

iStock/Thinkstock(PANHANDLE, Texas) -- Three railroad employees are presumed dead after they went missing when two freight trains collided in a fiery crash near Panhandle, Texas, on Tuesday, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety official.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway said four of its employees were involved when two intermodal freight trains collided Tuesday morning. One employee was hospitalized while rescue efforts were underway for the other three employees, BNSF Railway said Tuesday.

Crews moved from a rescue effort to recovery operation Tuesday night, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Buesing told ABC News Wednesday. The three missing employees are presumed dead, he said.

The hospitalized employee is in stable condition Wednesday, Patrick Buckley of the Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo told ABC News.

"Our deepest concerns are for our employees and their families right now," BNSF Railway said in a statement Tuesday.

One of the trains had stopped in Amarillo, Texas, to refuel before the crash, and that fuel added to the fire, Buesing said.

While the area of the incident has stopped burning, it is still smoldering with a significant amount of smoke and a few flare-ups, Buesing said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, he added.

BNSF Railway said Tuesday, "Our investigation is in the very early stages but based on the limited information we have reviewed, it appears that this is the type of incident that positive train control technology (PTC) is intended to prevent. This is why we have been aggressively deploying PTC across our network. While sections of the track operated by the eastbound train involved in this accident have PTC installed and are being tested, the section of track where the incident occurred will be installed later this year."

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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