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Md. derailment victims suffocated, autopsy finds

Thursday - 8/23/2012, 12:05pm  ET

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Howard County Police say autopsies of two young women killed in an Ellicott City train derailment concluded they were crushed to death by coal from the train.

Spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said Thursday that autopsies by the state medical examiner's office found the women died of accidental "compressional asphyxia."

The bodies of Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, were found buried under coal after the CSX freight train derailed around midnight Monday. Investigators say they were sitting on a railroad bridge when the train derailed.

Nass was a student at James Madison University in Virginia. Mayr was a nursing student at the University of Delaware.

Their funerals are set for Friday and Saturday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the wreck.

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