At least four people died and 17 were injured when a freight train crashed into a parade float carrying wounded war veterans in the West Texas city of Midland, authorities said.

Municipal spokesman Ryan Stout told the press that the collision occurred around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The 17 injured were taken to Midland Memorial Hospital, where 10 are in critical condition while the other seven are listed as stable.

The Show of Support's Hunt for Heroes parade was to be followed by a banquet in honor of the wounded war veterans.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation of the crash.

Midland is a town of close to 110,000 inhabitants some 530 kilometers (330 miles) west of Dallas. EFE