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PERRY, OK – At least three families were forced to leave their homes following the derailment of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train in Perry, OK on Thursday, January 13, 2011.

Derailed freight cars just west of the 7th Street railroad crossing in Perry, OK on Thursday, January 13, 2011. Photo credit:

Perry is in Noble County, Oklahoma in the northern part of the state about 79 miles northwest of Tulsa.

The derailment occurred shortly after 10:00 p.m. Thursday evening near the railway crossing on 7th Street just south of Birch Street. Thirteen rail cars jumped the tracks in the mishap.


The westbound train was hauling liquid fertilizer at the time. Some of the liquid spilled in the incident. The liquid was being handled as a hazardous material and crews were brought in to clean it up. BNSF brought in the crews to clean up the material. Officials later determined that the spilled liquid was not a danger to the community.

So far it appears that there is no environmental threat from any of the spilled fertilizer that seeped into the ground as a result of the accident. No injuries were reported and fortunately no railroad workers were injured as a result of the incident. Eighteen rail panels were damaged and had to be ripped out and replaced.

The tracks were messed up so what they had to do was rebuild the tracks. Broken pieces were hauled away and new pieces brought in. Crews were working to cleanup the derailed train for hours. All through the night and then through the day, crews worked to cleanup this train derailment.

Location of BNSF train derailment in Perry, OK near the 7th Street crossing just south of Birch St.

The tracks were also damaged as a result of the derailment so truckloads of wood and metal panels were brought in to replace the damaged tracks. Crews re-railed as many cars as they could, moving them slowly up the tracks.

Perry authorities evacuated families from three homes nearby where the train derailment occurred. This was carried out as a precaution. The families were allowed to return to their homes Friday morning.

Railroad company officials are investigating the cause of the derailment. Although the cause of the mishap remains under investigation, it is believed that the tracks spread apart when the train passed over them, but this has not been confirmed.

Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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