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MIAMI COUNTY, MO.– A Union Pacific train consisting of 106 railroad cars derailed on Wednesday, August 15, plunging several rail cars into the Marais Des Cygnes River. Mark Davis, a spokesman for Union Pacific, told the media that only 23 rail cars derailed, but some struck the railroad bridge over the river.

Several rail cars plunged into the Marais Des Cygnes River when a Union Pacific freight train derailed on August 15, 2012 on a bridge in Miami County, KS just outside Osawatomie.

According to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred when the train, which was carrying wheat, derailed about 1:45 a.m. near West 347th Street and Lookout Road, east of Osawatomie.

Map showing location of a Union Pacific train derailment just outside Osawatomie, KS on a bridge over the Marais Des Cygnes River near Lookout Rd and West 347th on August 15, 2012

No injuries were reported at the time of the accident.

One of the causes being investigated by Union Pacific is drought conditions. Davis said that extreme drought can cause the soil around the base area to crack or shrink, much as the earth does around a basement foundation or flat slab of a home.

“Last year it was problematic in Texas,” Davis said. “Primarily in west and south Texas.”
When the ground settles, the track will bow a little bit. To repair the damage, he said, crews have to build the base back up.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.


Posted by Gordon, Elias & Seely, a FELA lawyer and railroad injury lawyer blog that publishes train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States.

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