Cleanup begins at the site of a Montana train derailment and Yellowstone River bridge collapse


Cleanup has begun at the site of a train derailment in Montana that caused a bridge over the Yellowstone River to collapse, Montana Rail Link said in a statement Sunday.

The company’s wagons left the tracks Saturday morning in Stillwater County, sending several cars into the Yellowstone River. No injuries were reported.

Footage of the incident showed a buckled bridge sitting in water with derailed cars.

Cleanup work and water sampling at the site began on Saturday and are “ongoing”, the statement said.

“Repairs have been made to the tracks, allowing access to begin cleaning the affected cars,” Montana Rail Link said.

Some of the cars that derailed were carrying molten sulfur and asphalt, and two cars contained sodium hydrogen sulfate, Montana Rail Link said in a statement Saturday.

The two cars did not land in the river, according to the company, and initial air quality assessments found there were “no release events associated with those two cars.”

The company said Sunday it continued to “closely monitor (and mitigate) all emissions involving molten sulfur and asphalt” and its impact on the site and nearby area.

“Both of these substances harden and solidify rapidly when interacting with water, and modeling suggests that significant downstream movement of the material is unlikely,” according to Sunday’s statement.

The company also said it is working with local and federal partners throughout the cleanup process, including the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Montana Rail Link remains committed to addressing any potential impacts to the area as a result of this incident,” the company said.

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