'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' Runner-Up Caleb Bankston Killed In Horrific Coal Plant Accident
The reality TV contestant was reportedly crushed by a train car.
Caleb Bankston, the former contestant on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, has reportedly been killed in a horrifying coal plant accident in Birmingham, Alabama. The 26 year-old was working at the plant when the train car he was working on suddenly derailed and crushed him, according to The Birmingham News.
The newspaper reports that Bankston was standing on the ladder of a hopper car and directing an engineer who was backing up a train when the car suddenly derailed at the Walter Coke Plant in Birmingham around midday on Tuesday. He was working on the Alabama Warrior Railway, where he was a train engineer and conductor.
Bankston had appeared on the 27th season of the popular competitive reality television show, which aired in summer 2013. Returning castaways and their loved ones featured on the show competing against each other. Bankston competed with his fiancé Colton Cumbie and the pair were eliminated on the 32nd day of the show in ninth place.
Cumbie's Twitter profile is private but several users have reported, via Mail Online, that in the wake of Caleb's accident, he has tweeted "I just wish it was me...." The couple had reportedly been due to wed in October this year. Cumbie's loss has been met with an outpouring of support from his friends and other Survivor contestants.
Former Blood vs. Water star Aras Baskauskas told People: "Caleb was an amazing man and friend. One of the sweetest and most sincere humans I've ever come across. I am gutted by his loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Sabrina Thompson, who competed on Survivor: One World with Cumbie, said of the reality constestant: "While playing Survivor with Colton, he would talk about his boyfriend, Caleb, around the clock 24/7.
"Within seconds of meeting Caleb at the finale and Survivor events, it's no wonder why he raved about him. You were instantly drawn to his big smile, warm spirit and Southern charm. May God rest his soul ... gone too soon," she added.
Bankston is the third contestant to have passed away since participating on the show: Jenn Lyon, who placed fourth on Survivor: Palau, died in 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer. Last year, original Survivor contestant BB Andersen died of brain cancer at age 77.