Earlier today, the web site for Houston television station KHOU reported a runaway train traveling through that city’s downtown area. Here’s their report:


HOUSTON — Officials are trying to find out what went wrong after a Union Pacific train started moving Sunday morning with no one at the controls. The runaway train traveled through downtown Houston on its own for about 15 minutes before crews could get it to stop. The train traveled from 902 Washington to the 2000 block of Rothwell, where it stopped just south of Interstate 10 East. No one was hurt.

Scary? Dangerous? A disaster in the making? Well … uh … no.

It’s quite true there was no one in the cab of the yard locomotive, which appeared to be pushing a number of freight cars, but that’s the only thing this “news organization” got right. In fact, the engineer and conductor were at the front end of the train operating the helper locomotive by remote control.

I suppose the person scaring the bejeezus out of folks with this report assumed that there just had to be “officials” somewhere that would be looking into this potential disaster. Nevermind checking it out to be sure, though.

Depressing, eh? One more example of the half-assed, slip-shod news coverage we are subjected to on a daily basis. No wonder half the country gets up in arms over issues about which they are sadly misinformed.