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SUGAR CREEK, MO – It was around 1:00 am Saturday morning, July 3, when a witness reported a train derailment in Sugar Creek, Missouri. Seventeen cars derailed and six cars overturned. One car that carried a chemical called Toluene was ignited which caused the rail car to explode.

BNSF train stopped on the tracks along the highway after 17 cars derailed in Sugar Creek, MO

Fiery inferno following an explosion after 17 car BNSF train derailment in Sugar Creek, MO

“The tank was filled with animal fat,” said Police Chief, Herb Soule.

Soule said the train engineers reacted quickly by separating the remaining cars from the fire and moving additional dangerous chemicals up the tracks.



“The Kansas City Fire Department took two air quality monitors and set them,” Soule said. “They found no toxins in the air at all. We set up two in different places and one in Independence.”

The bad news, the train derailed near a second train and the diesel fuel in two locomotives also caught fire.

“They’re venting themselves so there is no danger of the tank itself exploding,” Soule said.

View of two of the locomotives from the BNSF train derailment in Sugar Creek, MO

Other derailed cars carrying potential hazardous material are being kept cool to avoid any additional fires. BNSF said 76 trains had to be re-routed because of the downed line. Trains closer to the fire will be parked until they can be moved.

“That’s the second busiest line in the state of Missouri,” said Soule. “They’re very interested in getting it open.”

Hazmat crews were also working to keep chemicals from leaking into the creek. Soule said the scene is like something from a book.

“The two locomotives are worth $2 million a piece,” Soule said. “They’re sitting there, they’re just blackened steel right now.”

BNSF continues to investigate the derailment. Early reports indicate a mechanical failure. A recording device on the train will be able to give more information on the cause. No one was injured in this accident.


Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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