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Ex-'Survivor' contestant Caleb Bankston dies in train mishap

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Singer and model <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/19/showbiz/joanne-borgella-death/index.html'>Joanne Borgella</a>, an "American Idol" contestant in 2008, died on Saturday, October 18, at age 32 after a battle with cancer, according to her family. Singer and model Joanne Borgella, an "American Idol" contestant in 2008, died on Saturday, October 18, at age 32 after a battle with cancer, according to her family.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Caleb Bankston was a conductor on a coal train for seven months
  • Bankston was a contestant on last year's "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"
  • Federal Railroad Administration investigators are on the scene in Alabama

(CNN) -- Former "Survivor" contestant Caleb Bankston has died while working on a coal train near Birmingham, Alabama, a railway official told CNN.

Bankston was a conductor on the Alabama Warrior Railway, a job he had held for seven months when Tuesday's accident happened, said Ed McKechnie, an executive vice president for Watco, the railway's parent company.

Bankston, 27, was a contestant on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" last year, along with his fiance, Colton Cumbie, according the CBS show's website.

"Our prayers continue to be with Caleb and his family," railway Senior Vice President Dan Smith said in a written statement.

The railway began a "safety stand down" Wednesday morning, sending its workers to sessions "to ensure all team members understood that nothing is more important than their safety," the company said.

Federal Railroad Administration investigators were on the tracks Wednesday looking at what caused the accident, according to a railway statement.

"Once completed, our investigation will identify the root cause of the accident, and we will take all appropriate enforcement actions," Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Warren Flatau said.

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