A did so after passing a few feet behind two young women who were sitting on the edge of a bridge over Main Street, police said Tuesday afternoon.
Those two women, Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, of Ellicott City, died in the incident after they were "buried under the coal as it dumped from the train cars," Howard County police said.
Police said investigators located the bodies of teens “seated on the edge of a bridge over Main Street.”
Safety officials said in a release the women were “sitting on the ledge facing east towards Baltimore County with their backs to the side of the train as it passed a few feet behind them.”
“For an unknown reason, the train derailed, causing open cars filled with coal to tip over,” according to the release.
Police said they would not know the final cause of the women’s death until autopsies are completed.
Police also said they do not know whether the derailment had anything to do with the women's presence on the bridge.
The investigation into the derailment itself is being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The safety board will host a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of The Phoenix Emporium, 8049 Main St., to discuss train derailment, according to Howard County government officials.
Howard County police also said they are aware of
“They have viewed the photos on public web sites and recognize that they appear to have been posted by one of the girls,” officials said in a news release. “This will be verified only after the girls’ cell phones are processed by authorities.”