A parade in Texas featuring wounded veterans has been struck by a train, killing four people and injuring as many as 17 others.

The annual Hunt for Heroes event was being held in Midland, and as a trailer carrying veterans was being pulled across some railroad tracks it was hit by a passing train at around 10.30pm Irish time.

At least 20 of the veterans were transported to a local hospital and the hospital called in all available staff.

One witness said the train track crossing gates did not make their usual warning noise because electricity went out about 20 minutes earlier.

Organisers planned to end the parade at a Hunt for Heroes banquet.

The service members were to share a meal and then take part in a group deer-hunting trip.