On the Swinomish Reservation, close to Anacortes, Washington, another train has derailed. State officials estimate that the fuel leak, which started early on Thursday, March 16, is in the neighborhood of 5,000 gallons.
The fuel from the BNSF Railway freight train that derailed on a berm at Padilla Bay in northwest Washington leaked into the ground rather than into the waterways. The leak, according to the state’s ecology department’s first responders, was believed to be roughly 5,000 gallons. Lena Kent, a BNSF Railway spokesman, told Huffington Post that although the leak’s size was still unknown, it was less than that estimate.
The Swinomish Reservation is the location of the fuel leak. According to officials, no injuries have been reported as a result of the incident, and no wildlife has been harmed. The Associated Press reported that the fuel spill had not touched the nearby rivers. Responders put up a boom along the shore to reduce the chance that fuel would end up in the water, and they removed all of the fuel from the two derailed train carriages.
The derailment’s origin is still a mystery, although it is being looked into. Rather than the train’s cargo, the diesel fuel in the front two derailed locomotives, according to Emily Tasaka, communications manager with Washington’s Department of Environment, told HuffPost. Although they were marked to carry propane, the additional four tank cars that did not derrail were empty when the train slid off the track.
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According to a tweet from the Washington Department of Environment, responders are currently removing contaminated soil from the location and will keep doing so until the area has been backfilled. U.S. EPA Region 10 also stated on Friday that a Unified Command was in place with the EPA, the Swinomish tribe, the state department of ecology, BNSF Railway, and the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management to quickly contain the leak and clean up the area.
A second BNSF Railway train derailed on Wednesday night in Mohave County, Arizona, just before the one that derailed on the Swinomish Reservation. According to authorities, there were no spills or leaks on the corn syrup-carrying train, according to NPR.
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In 2022, 1,164 train derailments were recorded by the Federal Railroad Administration. Following the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio in February, which highlighted worries about rail safety, particularly for trains carrying dangerous cargo, more and more derailments are making headlines.