BNSF crews laying new train tracks after train derailment

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Reported by: Lynn Casey
Updated: 12/13/2013 10:17 pm Published: 12/13/2013 8:44 pm

A BNSF freight train derailed just after 1 a.m., Friday, in north Tulsa, causing about 20 rail cars to fall off the train tracks.

The impact of this derailment involves everything from the cargo inside the train, to the actual train cars, to the land right where the two trains crashed.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported in this accident.

The workers and the train company's business were also drastically impacted.

Our team coverage continued all day, and into the night at the crash site near Dawson Road and North Yale Street in north Tulsa, Friday night.

FOX23 learned early on Friday that this crash may not have been an accident.

Investigators are looking into the cause of this derailment being vandalism.

Crews are telling FOX23 the derailment caused about a mile of wreckage in north Tulsa.

They were out cleaning up the mess for more than 16 hours on Friday.

Twenty-eight of the train cars that derailed were carrying automobiles. None of them will be salvageable.

But an even bigger concern is the 3,000-gallon gas tank that broke open and spilled about 100 gallons in the area.

That cleanup will take the longest.

Some of it spilled into a nearby creek.

That creek has been dammed off to keep the contamination from spreading and a hazmat crew will have to clean the water.

The gas also spilled on the ground, so they're going to have to bring in new dirt.

The railroad company says they think all this happened because someone intentionally removed the connectors on the train cars.

FOX23 spoke with Joe Faust, BNSF's spokesman.

"All of BNSF's lead locomotives are equipped with cameras. That camera was available so we're going to be doing that; that's going to be part of the ongoing investigation," said Faust.

After they got some of the major cleanup done, crews started laying new tracks.

Cleanup at the crash site, especially the environmental cleanup, could take weeks.

The railroad company hopes to at least have a section of the track usable again by 3 a.m. Saturday.

FOX23's crew is staying at the scene to collect more information.

We are also working to find out when crews say this could be completely cleaned up.

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