Twenty five Union Pacific tank cars carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire near Fort Worth, TX on April 24th leading to a voluntary evacuation of local residents and the death of three horses. Thankfully no residents, firefighters, or railroad employees sustained any injuries and residents were able to get more than a dozen horses to safety following the derailment.
An investigation into the cause of the derailment is underway but the area was experiencing some very heavy thunderstorms at the time of the incident. Some areas saw as much as two inches of rain fall per hour. NTSB spokesman, Christopher O’Neil, said “Rail accidents are selected for investigation (we do not investigate every rail accident) based upon the totality of the circumstances, as reported, surrounding an accident, and what we may learn from investigating the accident. In this instance, the carriage of ethyl alcohol in tank rail cars, and the reported breach of several cars carrying that cargo, is an area of interest for the NTSB. In each investigation we look at the people and machinery involved in the accident, and the environment in which the accident happened. We will look at the training, qualifications and fitness for duty of the people involved and the actions they took or failed to take …”
Congressman Marc Veasey issued the following statement: “I’m proud of the men and women of the Fort Worth Fire Department who responded quickly to the fire and went door-to-door to ensure residents evacuated safely from their homes. As we await further information on what caused this horrific accident, we must come together as a city, commit to help the extensive cleanup ahead of us, and work to prevent this type of accident from happening again.”
At least 3 horses killed, residents shaken by train derailment that ignited fire