Rail cars burn after derailment in eastern Montana

August 6, 2012 10:13:51 AM PDT
Officials say 16 rail cars caught fire and six exploded after a freight train derailed in an unpopulated area of eastern Montana, sending at least one fiery mushroom cloud into the sky.

The figures were released Monday by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman who said 15 tanker cars containing denatured alcohol and one car hauling cardboard derailed Sunday afternoon between Baker and Ismay, about 180 miles northeast of Billings.

All the rail cars carrying the fuel additive caught fire in a chain reaction. No one was hurt.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says flames up to 70 feet high came from the rail cars, which burned through the night.

Melonas says crews have to replace about 1,100 feet of track and expected to have the line open by Wednesday.


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