A freight train carrying hazardous materials fell into the Yellowstone River in Montana following a bridge collapse. Authorities said that eight of the train cars were carrying asphalt and molten sulfur.
The event occurred due to the bridge collapse between Columbus and Reed Point, Montana.
According to local media, the substances were moving slowly and had not moved significantly beyond the initial crash site. Photos of the event showed the train cars partially submerged by the Yellowstone River.
One Associated Press reporter described yellow liquid exiting the train cars.
Montana Rail Link spokesperson Andy Garland confirmed the crash.
He said that the “safety of our employees and the public remains our top priority. We are committed to addressing any potential impacts to the area as a result of this incident and working to understand the reasons behind the accident.”
The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office said that there was “no immediate threat to Yellowstone County” and that “precautions are being put in place.”
“Local Fishing Accesses will be closed. Water treatment plants, irrigation districts, and industrial companies are taking appropriate precautions,” the statement read.
The sheriff’s office said that it would be assisting the response in nearby Stillwater County, where the collapse occurred.
“Resources are being dispatched and multiple agencies are assisting,” the office said.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) said that he was “monitoring the train derailment in Stillwater County, and the state is standing by to support as Montana Rail Link and county officials assess their needs.”
A train derailment into the Yellowstone River near Twin Bridges Road between Reed Point and Columbus has led to the closure of parts of the Yellowstone and Stillwater Rivers, at the request of Stillwater County officials. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/9OVnmimN7Q
— Montana FWP (@MontanaFWP) June 24, 2023
The Montana incident was not the only train-related mishap in recent days. Georgia authorities said that a man died Saturday after being struck by a train.
The investigation is ongoing.
Furthermore, the latest derailment is one of a series that occurred this year. The most high-profile was the Feb. 3 crash of a Norfolk Southern train near East Palestine, Ohio.
The derailment was followed by a controlled burn of significant amounts of hazardous chemicals, leading to the death of thousands of nearby animals.
In addition, the accident led to the evacuation of thousands of residents and considerable criticism of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg due to his delayed reaction to the derailment.