Amputees sue railroad in Iowa, saying it creates danger

May 17, 2018 - 10:24 am

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa women who lost limbs when they were struck while trying to climb through trains that were blocking the road are suing the railroad for allegedly ignoring a safety hazard that's left a trail of horrific injuries.

The lawsuits filed Thursday allege that trains operated by the Canadian National Railway and its subsidiaries routinely block street crossings in Waterloo, sometimes for hours.

They say this leaves pedestrians trapped and facing bad options on a daily basis: wait for the trains to move, walk to an unblocked crossing that can be more than a mile away or risk crossing between stopped cars that can start moving without warning.

The lawsuits, filed on behalf of 37-year-old and 67-year-old women, claim at least five people have lost hands, arms or legs in this way since 1991.

A railroad spokesman says the injuries "are tragic examples of the dangers of climbing on trains or railway cars."

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