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ARLINGTON TX – A Union Pacific train derailment in downtown Arlington TX caused some concern to fire officials and local businesses who had to be evacuated when it was discovered that the train contained hazardous materials.

Several Union Pacific rail cars lay askew after jumping the tracks in downtown Arlington TX on Friday afternoon, February 17, 2012. Photo credit: Ashley Bradley / The Shorthorn

Arlington is located in Tarrant County, Texas in the north-central part of the state about 256 miles northwest of Houston, 17 miles east of Fort Worth and 24 miles southwest of Dallas.


The derailment occurred around 12:44 p.m. on Friday afternoon near the 500 block of East Main St. Several rail cars jumped the tracks. One boxcar lay askew while another tanker car separated almost completely off its trucks and was laying on the ground on the south side next to the tracks. Witnesses say that there was a loud noise and that the ground was shaking.

Map showing location of Union Pacific Train Derailment near the 500 block of East Main St. in Arlington TX on February 17, 2012.

Fire officials learned that the train was carrying hazardous materials. Not knowing which cars contained the hazardous material, an evacuation was ordered for a short time until an accurate assessment could be made on exactly which cars were carrying the hazardous materials.

The evacuation was in effect for eight nearby businesses plus traffic was diverted for a little over a half mile from Collins Street to the west to Cooper Street to the east. It was determined that six rail cars derailed in the train accident.

As a precaution, a HazMat team from the Arlington Fire Department was dispatched to the scene. The conductor of the train was interviewed in order to obtain the information on what was in the cars that derailed and where the location of the cars that contained hazardous materials were in relation to the derailment site.

An article in website reported on the story:

Lt. Darrel Whitfield of the Arlington Fire Department said they and Union Pacific moved in quickly and secured the scene. Lt. Whitfield continued, “Six cars derailed and we could see that one of them was a tanker car. We wanted to investigate to see that there were no hazardous materials involved in that car. We were in touch with Union Pacific and we were able to determine what the cargo was for the tanker. It later turned out to be corn syrup which is non hazardous. We did evacuate buildings in close proximity to the buildings.”

The evacuation was called off later on when it was learned that the derailed cars contained corn syrup from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a non-hazardous product. The cars that contained the hazardous materials were located further on down the length of the freight train and did not pose any hazard.

At 2:40 p.m. business owners were allowed to return to their buildings. Fortunately, no railroad workers were injured in the incident.

The mile long freight train was heading eastbound on the tracks when the derailment occurred. A section of track was completely destroyed in the mishap and repairs were started within a few hours.

The cause of the derailment is not known at this time but is currently under investigation.

Friday’s derailment occurred on the same track as another Union Pacific train derailment back on October 1, 2011 near West Division St. and Dottie Lynn Parkway about 4.7 miles to the west. A report on that incident was published here at the FELA Lawyer News Blog (see link in “Related searches” below).

FELA Lawyer News Blog is a FELA, train accident and personal injury blog that publishes up to date train accidents, train derailments 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.

Related searches:

Two Union Pacific Trains Collide in Arlington, TX

Houston FELA Lawyer
Railroad Injury Lawyer

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