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CASTRO COUNTY, Texas -— According to the BNSF spokesman, Joe Faust, strong winds were cited as the cause of more than 40 BNSF Railway cars derailing in Castro County, located in the Texas Panhandle.

Map shows location of BNSF train derailment in Castro County, Texas just outside Summerfield on June 17, 2013.

Map shows location of BNSF train derailment just outside Summerfield TX on June 17, 2013.

The derailment occurred on Monday, June 17, between Friona (free-OHN’-uh) and Summerfield. Brad Charboneau, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lubbock, said they received reports of the derailment about 2 a.m.

The 71-car BNSF train was traveling from traveling from Clovis, N.M. to Amarillo, Tx. Faust told the media that 47 cars that were empty or carrying various freight derailed and 42 cars ended up on their sides. No cargo spilled and there were no reports of any injuries at the time of thr incident.

Charboneau said the weather service received reports of wind gusts in the mid-60s from mesonet stations in the surrounding area, and received a 58 mph wind gust report in Castro County northeast of Dimmit.

The National Weather Service in Lubbock estimates winds gusted up to 100 mph at the time. Forecaster John Lipe says sometimes the outflow from thunderstorms can produce such winds. EF1 tornadoes carry winds from 86 mph to 110 mph.

BNSF reopened the line around midnight Monday.

Source: National Weather Service

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

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