Train derailment causes big problems in Hitchcock

July 1, 2011 10:30:59 AM PDT
A major cleanup effort is underway in Galveston County after an early morning train derailment in Hitchcock. Seven cars jumped the track right in front of that city's police station. While the derailment did not pose a health hazard, it did cause major traffic delays.

A representative from Burlington Northern Santa Fe said today that he believes this scene will clear by 6pm tonight. But until then, it's a mess.

The BNSF train derailed just before 2am as it was headed from the town of Seadrift to the BNSF rail yard in Galveston. Seven of the train's 27 railcars came off the track, as the train traveled at 38 miles an hour through town.

Some of the railcars were carrying plastic pellets, so in addition to the railcars, cleanup crews also have to take care of that mess.

There was one railcar carrying hazardous material, but BNSF says it does not pose a danger to anyone.

"They are upright, not leaking and stable," said Hitchcock PD Chief Clay Kennelly. "We have no injuries, and no evacuations. They've already started the processing of re-railing the derailed cars."

Crews will also have to replace quarter of a mile of track.

It is a traffic tie-up for anyone heading from the south side of Hitchcock to Highway 6, but clearly, this could have been much worse.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.


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