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PINE BLUFF -- The National Transportation Safety Board says it found several safety issues during its investigation of a 2015 rail yard death at a Pine Bluff packaging plant.

The agency says it found illicit-drug use by employees, inappropriate use of cellphones and the apparent use of an unapproved switching procedure. The April 3, 2015, accident at Evergreen Packaging left a worker on the ground dead.

Kye Garett Stewart, 35, was coupling train cars about 10 p.m. near the mill at 5201 Fairfield Road when the accident happened, according to authorities.

Evergreen Packaging personnel told deputies that an operator radioed Steward but received no response. The operator of the train discovered Stewart underneath the ninth car's wheels.

In a tweet Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board linked to a report that said it found evidence of opioid use by Stewart and methamphetamine use by a train operator but couldn't tell if that contributed to the accident.

The agency also said the crew likely used a short cut to separate cars from a train without fully stopping and that Stewart apparently tripped.

NW News on 03/08/2018

Print Headline: Safety lapses cited in rail yard death

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