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A Union Pacific worker died Thursday evening in a train crash west of Cheyenne. A second worker remained missing Friday.

The crash happened at 7:45 p.m. when an eastbound train hit a second, stopped train 18 miles west of Wyoming’s capital city, according to the Cheyenne Mayor’s Office.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said Friday that local emergency response agencies and Union Pacific workers were still looking for the missing person. She declined to offer details about the missing person.

“It is a very sad day for Union Pacific,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the wreck occurred when a moving train hit the rear of a stopped train, both of which were eastbound. Espinoza said an investigation would determine why the train had stopped, among other things.

An estimated 56 rail cars were derailed in the crash.

The crew in the stopped locomotive, which was pulling mixed freight from Pocatello, Idaho, had gotten out of the train prior to the crash, Espinoza said.

Despite earlier reports, there were no additional injuries in the collision, she added.

The moving train was carrying mixed freight from Green River to Cheyenne, she said.

“This was a significant and tragic event,” Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said in a statement. “We are a community of railroaders and tonight our community has experienced loss. And if you pray, please pray.”

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There were no obvious hazards or threats to the public, according to the mayor’s office.

As a result of the crash, the Wyoming Department of Transportation closed the Warren Road exit on Interstate 80, as well as a truck parking area at the interchange, according to a post on the agency’s Facebook page. An I-80 service road was also closed at the Harriman Road exit near the wreck.

Cleanup work will begin following an investigation by Union Pacific’s railroad team, according to the transportation department. That could take as long as 10 days and the closure will continue until that work is completed.

The search for the missing person will continue, Espinoza said.

“We’re not going to stop looking,” she said.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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