Five people remain unaccounted for from the Amtrak train crash in the Nevada desert, authorities have reported.
However, despite those still unaccounted for, the death toll from the crash between a big rig and an Amtrak train remains at six, and investigators have said they have yet to find more bodies in the wreckage.
More than 200 passengers and 14 crew were said to be on board when the California Zephyr from Chicago when it crashed on Friday. The initial number of people unaccounted for in the smash was initially higher but by Monday morning this was lowered to five.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen, according to AP, has said that the fire from the crash was so intense that authorities wanted to “make sure they are not missing anything”. So at least one forensic anthropologist has now been called in to help with the investigations.
“They want to figure out if there are any more bodies and if so, how many. They want to rule out the possibility that, yes there are more, or that no, there are not,” he added.
The accident happened about 70 miles east of Reno, when a big rig smashed into the train at a highway crossing. Investigators still have not established the reason why the driver of the semitrailer rig failed to stop before the crossing.
However, it was reported that the semitrailer skid 320 feet before crashing into the train. Two other drivers in the convey following the lead semitrailer stopped when they saw gates come down and a warning lights go off as the California Zephyr approached. But tragically the lead driver did not stop and ploughed into the passenger train.
The driver worked for John Davis Trucking Co. in battle Mountain, Nev., which is a family owned company specializing in hauling ore from local mines, as well as moving gravel and sand.
According to AP, official records reveal that the Nevada Department of Public Safety had previously cited the company for operating a truck with tire treads so exposed that it had to be taken off the road.
No one from John Davis Trucking Co. has yet made a public comment about the crash.