Bulletin Staff Report

BNSF railway crews are clearing and investigating the site where a train struck a boulder Monday north of Madras, causing five locomotives and one rail car to derail and 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel to leak on the ground.

The derailed locomotives and rail car were removed Monday night, said BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace.

There is no timetable for how long it will take to clear the leaked diesel fuel, but the work is being overseen by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wallace said.

The diesel fuel leaked about 600 feet from Trout Creek, but no fuel reach the creek, according to the state DEQ.

Geotechnical experts are being contracted to examine the stability of the site and determine how the boulder came to be on the track, Wallace said.

At About 2:30 a.m. Monday, the northbound train of 80 cars and five engines was hauling general merchandise from Bakersfield, California, to Pasco, Washington, when it reached the boulder on the track about 20 miles north of Madras. It began emergency braking but it was too late.

There were no reported injuries. All cars and locomotives remained upright, but the locomotives leaked diesel.

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