Train Derails; Evacuations Ordered

06-30-04 – Rescue workers were forced to evacuate 60 homes after a train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Carter County just north of the Love County line between Scenic Highway 77 and Cisco Road early Wednesday morning.

The Burlington Northern, Sante Fe Train was on its way Temple, Texas when it derailed at 1:45am. Several of the 111 cars were carrying anhydrous ammonia, one of the cars ruptured and exploded. Immediately after the explosion, Carter and Love County Deputies began evacuating homes within a 1.5 mile radius of the explosion site.

A large fire raged for two hours until a local hazardous materials team finished testing for chemical hazards in the air. Once testing was completed, firefighters were allowed closer to the explosion site. They were able to put out the flames just before 6am.

Authorities say the anhydrous ammonia dissipated quickly and the chemicals are not a danger to local residents.

BNSF officials are investigating. No injuries are reported in the incident. The train conductor was not hurt.