Women lie on train tracks 80 feet high to survive

Two women escape a train bearing down on them with not even seconds to spare. (NBC/WTHR)

NEAR BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (NBC/WTHR) — Two women escape a train bearing down on them with not even seconds to spare.

It happened earlier this month near Indianapolis, and the train’s security camera caught what looked like their final moments.

“Now you see the two subjects here,” said Eric Powell, with Indiana Railroad. “They’re, frankly, running for their lives at this point in time.”

It happened on this 80-foot-high Indiana Railroad bridge northeast of Bloomington at Lake Lemon just after sunrise.

They had walked up a path to the top of the bridge, but there are no walkways up on that bridge because no one is supposed to be walking up there because it’s trespassing. The only things up there are trains and danger.

“It’s private property; you should not be there,” said Powell. “It’s dangerous, but it’s easy for people to get on the tracks and walk on there.”

Powell pointed out in the surveillance video the sound of the train engineer putting the emergency brakes on the train — the 100-car coal train making every effort to stop.

The two women have almost no good choices. As for a jump?

“There would’ve been severe injuries,” said Powell. “One almost trips and falls off the bridge. The other one miraculously gets down.”

The train’s engine was already across the bridge before it could stop.

“This engineer threw the train into emergency braking as quickly as possible,” said Powell. “He had thought he had killed the two people here on this bridge.”

Incredibly, the women crawled out from under the engine and ran – but not without the engineer asking a question first.

“He yelled back and asked them, ‘Are you OK?’” said Powell. “One yelled she had stubbed her toe, otherwise fine. I’m sure their nerves were as shattered as his were.”

Indiana Railroad says the women have been identified and will be prosecuted on charges of criminal trespass.

“How they survived that, it’s … it’s just nothing short of a miracle,” said Powell.

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