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PLUMAS COUNTY, CA. — A BNSF train traveling from Vancouver, Wash. to Barstow, California, struck a boulder early Friday morning, Jan. 25, about 24 miles west of Quincy.

Photo shows fuel swirling on the surface of Feather River about two miles below where an estimated 3,200 gallon spill resulted from a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train engine hitting a rock and puncturing a fuel tank.

Photo shows fuel on the surface of Feather River about two miles below where approx. 3,200 gallons spilled after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train engine hit a rock and punctured a fuel tank.

Officials said that the accident occurred at 1:47 a.m. as it was traveling between Rich Bar and Twain in Plumas County, when the rock punctured a diesel fuel tank on the lead locomotive, spilling fuel along the tracks and into the track ballast.

BNSF railroad personnel told the media that they estimated up to 3,200 gallons of diesel may have been released and that some of the fuel has reportedly reached the river.

Plumas County News reports:

With the assistance of a PG&E helicopter, booms were set up in five locations on the river to help collect the fuel.

Although it was a BNSF locomotive that hit the rock, the stretch of track belongs to the Union Pacific. Both companies are involved in the containment and cleanup in addition to NRC, the cleanup contractor.

According to BNSF Railway spokesperson, Lena Kent, the train did not derail and continued traveling toward its destination at 5:45 a.m.

No injuries were reported at the time of the accident.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Blog post by Gordon, Elias & Seely, a FELA lawyer and California railroad injury lawyer who publishes train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States.

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