Train derails near Fish Creek; aircraft fuselages in Clark Fork

2014-07-05T09:59:00Z 2014-07-05T10:54:04Z Train derails near Fish Creek; aircraft fuselages in Clark ForkBy DILLON KATO of the Missoulian The Billings Gazette
July 05, 2014 9:59 am  • 

MISSOULA − A Montana Rail Link freight train has derailed near Fish Creek, sending three aircraft fuselages down a steep embankment into the Clark Fork River.

MRL spokeswoman Lynda Frost said 19 cars from a westbound train derailed about 4 p.m. Thursday 10 miles west of Alberton near Fish Creek Road and Interstate 90. No injuries were reported.

Thirteen cars were carrying aircraft components, soybeans and denatured alcohol, while half a dozen were empty. Frost said no alcohol leaked and no soybeans spilled, but three cars with aircraft fuselages went into the river.

Trains are being rerouted while crews clean up the closed section of track, Frost said. The line is expected to reopen by Saturday evening.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks plans to close the Alberton Gorge section of the Clark Fork so debris from the derailment can be removed safely, but the river will be open Saturday, said fisheries manager Pat Saffel.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

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