Asphalt-hauling tanker derails in Vancouver

Crew from Seattle arrived with crane to upright the tanker

An asphalt-hauling tanker was uprighted hours after it derailed and tipped at the Vancouver railyard, June 27, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
An asphalt-hauling tanker was uprighted hours after it derailed and tipped at the Vancouver railyard, June 27, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Hours after a railroad tanker carrying liquid asphalt derailed in the Vancouver railyard Friday morning a crew uprighted the tipped tanker.

The tanker did not leak, officials said, and there was no environmental impact or danger to the public.

An asphalt-hauling tanker derailed in the railyard at Vancouver, Washington, June 27, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
An asphalt-hauling tanker derailed in the railyard at Vancouver, Washington, June 27, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad train was headed from Vancouver, BC to Linton, Oregon, spokesperson Gus Melonas told KOIN 6 News.

It derailed at the switchyard under the 4th Plain overpass.

A mechanical crew from Seattle arrived with a crane to upright the tanker from its side Friday afternoon. The track was also repaired around the same time.

No one was hurt.

Council members worried

The fact nothing spilled on Friday was little consolation to Vancouver city council members Jack Burkman and Bart Hansen.

“I thought this was not supposed to happen in the railyard,” Burkman said. “What if it had ruptured with oil in it?”

“We’ve been told over and over that low speed protects us from derailments, but they just derailed one in their own yard,” Burkman said.

Councilman Bart Hansen said, “You’re seeing one of these accidents, but what happens if it’s with an oil train that tips over, punctures and possibly explodes?”

Melonas said that is unlikely.

“Rarely have we seen cars release product like this,” he said. “In this case it was a heavy load and the car performed as designed.”

But the city council leader, on record against building an oil terminal at the nearby Port of Vancouver, said it raises new safety concerns for them.

“I see this as one more potential accident happening in our community,” Hansen said.

The cause of the tipover is still under investigation.

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