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Two Missouri girls die in accident playing 'Ghost Train'


June 5: Union Pacific Railroad Special Agent Steve Ray looks for debris along a rail line just north of Poplar Bluff, Mo., after two teenagers were killed and another injured when their vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train just after midnight. (©2012, Daily American Republic, All rights reserved)

Two girls struck and killed by an Amtrak train were playing a deadly game.

The accident happened early Tuesday at a railroad crossing near Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the victims were 15-year-old Victoria Swanson and 17-year-old Haley Whitmer, both of Poplar Bluff. A third girl is in serious condition.

Butler County Coroner Jim Akers says the teens were playing a game called "Ghost Train," in which a car is parked on the tracks purportedly awaiting a "ghost train" that wrecked many years ago. Occupants let the windows fog up in the scary setting. If a real train approaches, they drive off.

But Akers said the Jeep wouldn't restart. Relatives told Akers the girls had played the game many times before.

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