Bolt could be at fault for oil train derailment

Mosier's wastewater is being trucked to Hood River for disposal

An aerial view of an oil train that derailed near Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016 (KOIN)
An aerial view of an oil train that derailed near Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge, June 3, 2016 (KOIN)

MOSIER, Ore. (KOIN) — Union Pacific has identified a preliminary cause of a train crash that sparked a massive fire and crude oil leak in the Columbia River Gorge Friday.

Officials say a bolt that fastens the rail to the railroad ties may have been at fault. But, they say a final determination of the cause hasn’t been made.

Meanwhile, crews have transferred more than 65 truck loads of oil to special tanker trucks in The Dalles, where it will finish its journey by rail to Tacoma. Officials estimate another 25 truck loads remain and they expect that to be transloaded by the end of the day Tuesday.

Once all the oil is removed from the crash site, crews will remove the damaged cars.

While crews clean up the mess in Mosier, Senator Ron Wyden — who joined other Oregon leaders in calling for a temporary halt on oil trains rolling through the Gorge — made a plea on the Senate floor for his bill that would reduce the number of unsafe cars on the tracks by putting a fee on the most dangerous cars.

42,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from 4 cars. 10,000 gallons of oil have been removed from the wastewater system. The remaining 32,000 gallons either burned off, was absorbed by soil, or captured by booms in the Columbia River.

Officials say no new oil sheens have been spotted in the water but they continue to monitor the river and air quality.

 

 

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