Shortly before noon on Tuesday morning, a BNSF freight train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed in Custer, Washington. According to a BNSF Railway spokesperson, seven of the cars on the train, which was bound for a Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale, derailed. Two of them started burning when a fire broke out toward the end of the train. The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation.
Local residents were temporarily evacuated and several roads were closed following the accident. Two BNSF employees were on board the train but were not injured.
Washington State Patrol Trooper, Heather Axtman, said “The Fire Department is still actively on scene…it is not clear how long it will take before the fire is extinguished.” As of 4 pm there were still two cars burning and the fire department was allowing the fire to burn itself out.
Investigation underway after train derails in Whatcom County, sparking fire, evacuations