Contractors clear derailed crude oil train, evacuation order stands
Second Trail Derailment In Two Days, The First One Spilled Ethanol
Crews were dismantling and removing one car that was punctured, and it spilled no more than 1,000 gallons, Canadian Pacific spokesman Andrew Cummings said. The railroad said the leaking car was sealed, the oil contained and siphoned off, and that none of the product reached any waterways.
It was the second freight train derailment in as many days in Wisconsin. On Saturday, 25 BNSF train cars including tankers derailed, spilling more than 18,000 gallons of ethanol along the shores on the Mississippi River near Alma in western Wisconsin.
BNSF said railroad crews stopped the leaks from five tanker cars and placed containment booms along the shoreline. One tanker released an estimated 18,000 gallons of ethanol, and the other four released an estimated 5 to 500 gallons each. No one was hurt. BNSF said it expects the tracks to return to service Monday.
Federal Railroad Administration regional administrator Steven Illich said there was no reason to believe the Watertown derailment was anything but an accident.
"We have no indications that it is criminal. However, again, we won't rule anything out until we have a chance to do a full investigation," Illich said. Investigators will look at several key areas including the track, he added.
"There will be metallurgic tests that will be done, not only on the rails, but on the wheels on the train cars," Illich said.
Watertown fire chief Gregory Michalek said Monday that residents who evacuated 35 homes following the spill cannot return home until the cleanup is complete. They were escorted to their homes by officials late Sunday to retrieve pets, medicine and clothes. Officials will re-evaluate the situation in Watertown on Monday evening and decide if residents can return, Michalek said.
Those evacuated were sent to hotel rooms, Cummings said.
The AP contributed to this report.
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