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Union Pacific RR worker killed in industrial accident near Tucson

A worker on the Union Pacific railway died on the job this weekend in an industrial accident east of Tucson, officials said. James Morgan was fatally injured Sunday while working on the rail line in the Vail area.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Monday morning that the federal agency was investigating the incident, in which the UP employee was "struck by a rail tamper" — equipment used to compact the rocky ballast roadbed that holds railroad ties in place.

Union Pacific officials confirmed that Morgan, a "systems laborer," died in the incident.

NTSB investigators aren't planning to travel to the scene, the agency said. No details about the incident were yet available.

A UP spokesman, Tim McMahan, said the incident was "tragic" and said that the company's hearts were with Morgan's family and friends.

The Vail area includes multiple independent segments of UP's main line, which wind out of the San Pedro Valley in a steep climb from Benson. The railroad includes the former main lines of what were build as the original Southern Pacific transcontinental route, and the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad.

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A Union Pacific tie tamper in a 2009 photo.