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5,000 Gallons of Diesel Spills After Train Derails in Washington


Multiple crews responded when a a BNSF freight train derailed in Anacortes, Washington shortly after midnight Thursday morning.

The derailment reportedly occurred on the Swinomish Reservation near the Swinomish Casino and Lodge on Fidalgo Island.

5,000 gallons of diesel spilled as a result of the derailment, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

Two locomotives overturned and the majority of the spill was contained within a berm.

“Ecology & the Marine Spill Response Corporation are responding to a BNSF train derailment on the Swinomish Reservation in Anacortes. ~5000 gallons of diesel leaked at this time. Spill happened on a berm & most of diesel leaked on land side. No injuries,” the Washington Department of Ecology tweeted.

KIRO 7 reported:

Around 11 a.m., WA DOE said it did not appear that water or wildlife were affected by the spill and that the shoreline had been lined with a boom to contain possible pollution.

The fuel that remained in the two derailed engines has been pumped out and four tank cars that stayed upright have been removed from the scene, WA DOE said.

Crews are using heavy equipment to upright the engines.

From The Seattle Times:

NATIONAL POLL: Do You Trust Fox News?

Excavators were clearing contaminated soil from the site of a BNSF train derailment near the Swinomish Channel on Thursday.

It was unclear how much fuel leaked into the soil from the two engines that toppled. The engines were equipped with tanks that each could hold 3,500 gallons of diesel, according to the state Department of Ecology. But Michael Sibley, an environmental scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said at the scene no more than 2,500 gallons of diesel spilled.

No injuries, or harmful effects to water or wildlife, were reported, according to EPA and BNSF.

“This stuff happens every single day … This is kind of heightened because of the Ohio derailment and that’s what’s on everybody’s mind,” said Ty Keltner, an Ecology spokesperson, referencing last month’s derailment of the Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio.

The train was headed east toward Burlington after leaving a nearby oil refinery when both locomotives derailed a few minutes after midnight, Ecology spokesperson Scarlet Tang said. It’s believed the train’s oil cars were empty, according to Ecology.

A BNSF spokesperson said the cause of the derailment was under investigation. A conductor and engineer were on board at the time of the accident.


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