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Biddeford police still trying to notify relatives of 2 people hit by train


Crews on the scene of a fatal incident on the railroad tracks in Biddeford on Sunday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Local police say they’re still working to notify the families of two people who died on the train tracks snaking through a residential neighborhood in Biddeford on Sunday morning.

Few details have been made public on who these people were — their ages, genders, where they were from, and what brought them to the stretch of railroad tracks near several neighborhoods off of Main Street, blocks from downtown.

Early on Monday morning, police shared one small detail of the incident in which they were killed, from an Amtrak-owned video that captured their death.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that two persons were lying on the tracks as the train approached,” Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre said in a statement. “Based on the available video feed, the persons sat up, hugged one another, and were struck by the train.”

The video is not available for media or public review.

Patricia Quinn of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which oversees the Downeaster line that stops at the Biddeford station, deferred to local police Monday morning about details of the crash.

“This was not a train accident,” Quinn said Monday. “No one on the train was hurt. People were on the rail line, which is private property. And that’s considered trespassing.”

While there were significant delays to the Downeaster’s schedule Sunday, the schedule was back to normal Monday.

About 80 passengers were on the train that hit the people. The passengers were stuck on the train for around an hour and a half, before they were taken by bus to another northbound train.

Jason Abrams, a spokesman for Amtrak, said Monday morning that Amtrak was working with Biddeford police to investigate the incident. Abrams said the two people were trespassing along the railroad right of way, “the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America.”

“These incidents can affect everyone involved — those who are injured or die and their families, our train crews and our passengers,” said Abrams. “They also serve as critical reminders about the importance of obeying the law and of exercising extreme caution around railroad tracks and crossings.”

The incident occurred a few blocks from the downtown business area, near where the tracks intersect with Main and Cutts streets.


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