Train Derails, Schools Evacuated Amid Leak Fears - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Rebecca Smith Reports

Train Derails, Schools Evacuated Amid Leak Fears

Mammoth Spring, AR (KAIT)- TV Wallis' farm used to be situated not too far from where a train derailed over a bridge that spans the Warm Fork River.

"I just hate to see the wreck," said Wallis. "It's kinda like being at home here."

13 cars ran off the tracks at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

The cars derailed as they were headed south through downtown Mammoth Spring, right under the Highway 63 overpass.

And that, Wallis says, makes him a little uneasy. The thought that the structural integrity of the bridge could be compromised.

"Those cars are laying near the bridge, but I don't know if it's damaged or not."

12 of the overturned rail cars were carrying plastic used in manufacturing. But one, a tanker used for transporting liquid butane, also ran off the tracks.

This prompted authorities to evacuate Mammoth Spring schools.

Parents say rumor spread like wildfire that there was a leak.

"They were freaking out because they shut down the local school," said Shawna Reid, who took her two nephews out of daycare.  

Police say the tanker was actually empty, but the traffic backup as a result of prying eyes became a real problem.

"Initially, but everything's back to normal now," said Michael Davis, of the Mammoth Spring Police Department.

Spectators continued to trickle in throughout the day to see the sight, most say, they'd never seen before.

"I was taking pictures. It's not everyday you see a train derail."

Region 8 news did try to contact Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railway both at the sight of the derailment and by phone. They didn't want to comment.


Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com

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