A parade float carrying a number of west Texas, US veteran soldiers and their families, who had been injured and disabled while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hit head on, by a speeding Union Pacific train in west Texas, as it was being pulled along train tracks en route to a banquet being held in their honour. Four people were killed instantly, seventeen more are injured, ten critically and seven are in a stable condition according to parade organizers.

This footage shows emergency services around the train. However another disaster was averted as a second flatbed truck also pulling another float carrying soldiers and spouses managed to l cleared the train tracks without being struck, police have said. Organizers of the Hunt for Heroes event in San Angelo, told press that the parade had kicked off a weekend of events, including the banquet and a hunting expedition, to honour 25 severely injured veterans.

Many of the 25 West Texas veterans being honoured had served multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and were described as having been shot on the battlefield or wounded by improvised explosive devices. Authorities have so far not released the names of those injured or killed or released any more information as to how the tragic accident occurred.

Written and presented by Ann Salter