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EMMETT, KS – A Union Pacific train derailed in Emmett, Kansas on Monday, September 5, 2011 spilling about 5,600 tons of coal and demolishing a rail bridge.

Photographs of the bridge over Cross Creek in Emmett, Kansas before and after the Union Pacific coal train derailment virtually demolished the bridge and spilled about 5,600 tons of coal.

Emmett is located in Pottawatomie County, Kansas in the northeastern part of the state about 35 miles northwest of Topeka.

Map showing location of Union Pacific coal train derailment in Emmett, KS just southeast of town at the rail bridge over Cross Creek.

The derailment occurred at about ten minutes to 4:00 a.m. in the morning.

Fifty-six coal cars out of the 134-car train jumped the tracks in the incident and each of the coal cars can haul up to 100 tons of coal. The coal was being transported from Wyoming and was heading toward Oklahoma at the time.

Fortunately, there were no hazardous materials involved in the incident and no one had to be evacuated. Also, fortunately there were no injuries as a result of the incident and there were no injuries to any railroad workers. Neither the conductor or the train’s engineer were injured in the mishap.

Repair crews were immediately called in and worked around the clock to clean up the mess and to repair the tracks. Instead of replacing the 1,270-foot bridge over Cross Creek, officials said that they would build a new span over metal pipes placed in the water instead of rebuilding the bridge.

Shortly after the accident an investigation was conducted to determine the cause of the derailment and it was concluded that the accident was caused by a broken rail. A company spokesman made the announcement on September 7, 2011. The rail line was re-opened at 11:45 a.m. on that day.

FELA Lawyer News Blog is a FELA, train accident and personal injury blog that publishes up to date train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States. The Federal Employers ‘Liability Act, (FELA) allows injured railroad workers to recover compensation based on the negligence of the railroad company, in lieu of workers’ compensation. FELA defines negligence as the railroad company’s failure to use reasonable care.

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