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Final report issued for derailed train in Wilbarger

BNSF officials said the train had 98 cars carrying ethanol, and almost thirty caught on fire.
BNSF officials said the train had 98 cars carrying ethanol, and almost thirty caught on fire.(kauz)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 1:28 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Texas Department of Public Safety has issued its final report of the trail derailment that took place in Wilbarger County on Saturday.

Officials said fire suppression efforts were successful on Saturday night after a total of 28 rail cars were derailed earlier that day. Some cars were left to burn out completely on their own, according to the report.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management said that AEP had restored electrical power to the 160 customers at around 11:30 p.m. that night, and stated Burlington Northern Santa Fe would be checking and repairing the rail line with the goal of reopening as soon as possible. There were no air quality concerns to the public reported.

READ: Fire crews work to put out flames from derailed train near U.S. 287

The report comes two days after a 98-car BNSF train carrying ethanol derailed at around 10 a.m. near Highway 287 in Oklaunion. 25 of the 28 cars that went off the tracks reportedly caught fire, forcing multiple fire crews from various agencies to respond to battle the blaze and prevent grass fires.

“We’re very blessed to have the great community that we do, because we’re a very small department and a lot of times when matters like this happen we’re not used to having train derailments,” said Wilbarger County Sheriff Brian Fritze.

Texas DPS closed multiple roads as Vernon and Wichita Falls Fire Departments battled the fires. Sheppard Air Force Base also responded with foam trucks to suppress the flames, while United Supermarket staff in Vernon pitched in to supply first responders with water and ice. Dinner was provided by the Western Trails Cowboy Church.

No cause for the derailment was given.

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