Updated 07/05/12 – 10 p.m.
GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — Crews sifting through the wreckage of a train derailment and bridge collapse in the northern suburbs have found two bodies in the wreckage, after digging out a car that had been buried in the rubble.
A Union Pacific freight train hauling coal derailed along a railroad embankment near Willow and Shermer roads along the border between Glenview and Northbrook on Wednesday. The bridge at Shermer and Willow also collapsed and, while authorities initially said no one was hurt and there was no sign any vehicle was under the bridge at the time, crews discovered a bumper in the wreckage on Thursday.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports, after digging further, officials discovered a car that had been crushed.
Glenview Fire Chief Wayne Globerger said two bodies were found inside the car. One of the victims, a male, was the driver of the car. The passenger was a female, authorities announced later Thursday.
The car was lifted onto a flatbed truck and taken to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, so the victims could be identified and autopsies could be performed.
Glenview Deputy Police Chief Phillip Perlini said authorities would not release any details about the car, or where it was registered, until further investigation is completed.
“The medical examiner’s still doing an investigation. Until their investigation is closed, we’re not going to be releasing any information, as far as the vehicle goes,” Perlini said.
Globerger said officials could not rule out the possibility that other victims could be found in the rubble.
“There is a possibility. As the UP crew keeps working through the pile, it’s always possible. So we’re going to stand by as we did yesterday, and deal with it if that occurs,” he said.
Thirty-one of the cars on the 138-car freight train derailed around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, spilling a massive amount of coal. The train was hauling coal from Wyoming to Wisconsin at the time.
It was not immediately clear if the derailment caused the bridge to collapse, if the bridge collapse caused the derailment, or if other factors were involved.
Officials have said it could take months to clean up all the wreckage and fully repair the tracks and bridge.
Several telephone poles were also knocked down, and sparks from live power lines ignited a fire in the nearby grass and weeds, but the fire was quickly put out.
The affected stretch of track is freight-only, so commuter trains were not affected.
There was another derailment at the same spot in 2009, and officials are looking into whether there was any connection between the causes of the two wrecks.