UPDATE: 10:18 A.M. November 13th, 2019

(Red Oak) -- Cleanup operations continue following an early-morning train derailment in Montgomery County.

Shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad officials informed Montgomery County's communications center regarding a coal train derailment in the area of D Avenue west of Red Oak. Deputies of the Montgomery County and Mills County Sheriff's Office responded and located the derailment under the Boxelder Avenue bridge. Approximately 20-to-30 coal cars were involved. Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman tells KMA News a portion of Boxelder Avenue was closed near the derailment location a few hours later.

"We have closed Boxelder Avenue between 200th and 210th Street," said Hamman. "This is due to all the heavy equipment that is on scene and en route to give them a safe area to work, and off load, and load their vehicles, so that they can get the tracks repaired, as well as the derailed coal and cars cleaned up."

Hamman says there's varying degrees of damage with the derailment.

"Right below the bridge where the main damage is," he said, "the cars are pretty crashed up, and scrunched up. Coal is everywhere. On up the tracks aways where it had broke through, there's six additional cars that are laid over on their side. Obviously, the coal's dumped out."

Even with heavy equipment, Hamman says BNSF crews face a major cleanup task.

"They definitely got a big task ahead of them," said Hamman, "not only with repairing the track, but just general cleanup of all the coal, and well as the cars, and everything that goes with it. Thankfully, there was no hazardous material aboard, and there were no injuries. So, the local response from us was pretty low and minor. However, we are assisting them with any needs that they need, such as the road closures and anything else that goes on today--even the rest of the week.

"Thankfully, they've got some good weather ahead of them. So, they'll get it cleaned up and in-and-out in just a couple of days."

Hamman advises motorists to be patient, as the cleanup will mean traffic disruptions.

"Boxelder is a paved road that runs north and south," he said. "It's used heavily by our farming  community, as well as though other travelers to and from Red Oak, other cities around. So, it is going to be a disruption. Fortunately, they do have a new bridge on 210th that they can pass on. So, it should be only a couple-mile detour that they need to take."

In addition, Burr Oak Avenue remains closed for local traffic and BNSF crews only. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the Mills County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, Red Oak Fire and Rescue and Montgomery County Secondary Roads assisted at the scene.  


ORIGINAL STORY: 6:58 A.M. November 13th, 2019

(Red Oak) -- An investigation continues into an early-morning train derailment in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Emergency Management says the county's communications center was notified by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad at around 4 a.m. regarding a coal train derailment in the area of D Avenue west of Red Oak. Deputies of the Montgomery County and Mills County Sheriff's Office responded and located the derailment under the Boxelder Avenue bridge. Approximately 20-to-30 coal cars have been involved.

There were no injuries and no hazards to the public. BNSF crews are on scene and more heavy equipment is expected later this (Wednesday) morning. Motorists are asked to avoid the area and allow crews to work. At this point, Boxelder Avenue will remain open. However, Burr Oak Avenue is closed for local traffic and BNSF crews only.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the Mills County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, Red Oak Fire and Rescue and Montgomery County Secondary Roads assisted on the scene.