10/31/2013 04:12 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Two pedestrians killed by train in downtown Wetaskiwin

Two people are confirmed dead after they were hit by a southbound Canadian Pacific freight train in the central Alberta town of Wetaskiwin just before noon MT on Thursday. 

One person fell while trying to cross the tracks and the other person turned around to try and help them, RCMP said. 

CP spokesman Kevin Hrysak said that the collision occurred at the 50th Avenue and 50th Street crossing around 11:38 a.m. 

“Our crew did sound their whistle and horn and put the train into an emergency brake application but did unfortunately make contact with the individuals," he said.

The warning gates, lights and bells at the crossing appeared to be functioning at the time, Hrysak said. 

The first sign of trouble was when a train passing through downtown began blasting its horn, said Cliff Reed, who owns Reed's Cycle and Sports, one block from the crossing.

"I just went to have a look because I started hearing sirens and there was one person laying on the street at the time," he said. 

Trains have been barred from sounding their horns in the town by a recent bylaw, he said.