Four people were killed and 17 others injured on Thursday when a train crashed into a parade float carrying veterans and their spouses in West Texas, police and parade organizers said.
Ten of the hospitalized were in critical condition and another seven were listed as stable, said Midland Police Chief Price Robinson.
Robinson said the Union Pacific train struck an open trailer carrying veterans and their spouses as it was being pulled across the train tracks at around 4:30 p.m.
"It's hard to look at. It's a very tragic event, very unfortunate," Robinson said, speaking from the site of the accident.
The float was carrying veterans through Midland, Texas, to a banquet in their honor, said Sonny Cleere, an organizer of the Hunt for Heroes event in San Angelo, Texas.
The parade kicked off a weekend of events, including the banquet and a hunting expedition, to honor wounded veterans, Cleere said. Those events have now been canceled.
"It has been a horrible thing," he said. "The people in Midland that were hosting the banquet tonight are in a state of shock."
Tracy Scott, a Midland oilfield worker who did not witness the crash but arrived at the scene later, told Reuters the train did not derail, but continued to move roughly half a mile past where the collision occurred before coming to a stop.
A second flatbed truck carrying soldiers and spouses cleared the train tracks without being struck, police said.
Some of those aboard the trailer that was hit managed to jump off before the collision, police added.
Authorities did not immediately release the names of those injured or killed.
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