Two people were killed after they were struck by a Christmas-themed train in Massachusetts. The conductor of the train saw the two people on the tracks and tried to bring the train to a halt using the emergency brakes, but was unable to stop the deadly collision. Authorities have not identified the individuals but said they were a 33-year-old female and 36-year-old male who lived in the area.
The "Train to Christmas Town" was making its final dress rehearsal of the season and Cape Cod Central Railroad had invited the families of first responders for the trip. There were 355 passengers on board and most of them were children.
“This is our way of giving back to those who give so much to our local communities," Cape Cod Central Railroad said in a statement. "On our way to the North Pole this evening, we came upon trespassers who were on our tracks. Sadly, tragedies such as this could be avoided if people would not trespass on train tracks.”
Officials did not tell the children what really happened, explaining that the train had to stop and would not make it to the North Pole because it ran out of "magic gas." Nobody on board the train was hurt. Several of the first responders offered to help with the investigation but were advised to remain on the train and stay with the kids.
While authorities worked to determine what happened outside, workers on the train had to keep the kids entertained until they could return to the station. There were 28 staff members, dressed as elves and other Christmas characters. Even Santa Claus made an appearance, asking the kids what they wanted for Christmas and handing out presents.
“It’s a tragedy, and of course we feel terrible,” Kaylene Jablecki, manager of the Cape Cod Central Railroad said, “but it could have been mass chaos. Ultimately, I feel it was handled well.”