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Derailed coal quickly being cleaned up
Source: The Minot Daily News
Published: December 26th 2007
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ANAMOOSE — While the wreckage from a train derailment just west of Anamoose is being quickly cleaned up and the tracks are almost ready for rail traffic, the investigation into how the accident happened is just getting started.

A 118-car Canadian Pacific Railway train was eastbound around 3:45 a.m. Sunday when 39 of its coal cars derailed. Although the area was quite a mess with tipped cars and spilled coal, there were no injuries reported.

Breanne Feigel, CP Rail spokesperson, said the investigation is in its early stages and will probably take several months to complete. CP Rail takes the incident very seriously, Feigel said, and they are going to look at everything and not rush the investigation. Rail officials will be gathering evidence at the scene, talking to crews and studying the locomotive’s event recorder to determine a cause for the accident.

“We have good teams in place to efficiently work on the investigation portion and clean up on site,” Feigel said.

The scene was quite a mess, but Feigel said the cleanup was progressing smoothly and that the tracks should reopen around 4 p.m. Monday. Although quite a bit of coal was spilled — Feigel didn’t know exactly how much — she said it posed no hazard to the environment or the public.

“A lot of work has progressed, and it’s all progressed safely,” she said. “No injuries, no environmental issues, no public safety concerns.”

Feigel did not have the details on exactly how much damage was caused to the track and cars.

There was some suspended train traffic on Sunday, but Feigel said all of CP Rail’s affected customers have been notified and the delays are minor. Although the tracks should be open by Monday afternoon, Feigel said not to expect any trains until Wednesday because of the holiday.

“You won’t see any trains running on that track today (Monday) or tomorrow as we operate 364 days a year,” Feigel said. “Our line is closed on Christmas Day for the holiday so everyone can take a much deserved break.”

She noted that the timing of the accident and the quick work of the cleanup crews allowed CP Rail to avoid any significant impact to its operations.

A steady stream of onlookers visited the site Monday morning to check out what was going on. Large piles of coal dotted the area as a piece of heavy equipment lifted massive axles and set them neatly in place alongside the tracks. Dozens of damaged cars — some twisted so severely it looked like a tornado ripped through the train — were lined up in rows awaiting removal. From a distance, the cleanup crew members looked like ants in orange vests next to the heavy equipment and piles of coal that towered over them.

As one onlooker said, despite the mess, at least nobody was injured – especially this close to Christmas.
 


 

 
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