The Latest: 14 cars on oil train derailed, 4 caught fire

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 04, 2016 1:47 PM
The Latest: 14 cars on oil train derailed, 4 caught fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a train derailment in Oregon's scenic Columbia River Gorge (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Oregon's Transportation Department now says it was 14 oil tank cars that derailed in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, and four that caught fire.

Earlier reports said 11 cars derailed Friday, and it was not immediately clear how many had caught fire. The fire was extinguished a little after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Officials say a light sheen of oil was observed about 6 feet offshore in the Columbia River at the mouth of Rock Creek. Responders deployed about 1,000 feet of containment boom. Environmental crews are working to identify and control the source of the sheen.

The Transportation Department says operations Saturday will include removing rail cars from the site. They're waiting for the cars to cool before transferring the remaining oil from the rail cars to tank trucks.

___

10:20 a.m.

Union Pacific Railroad says it had recently inspected a section of track where an oil train derailed in Oregon.

Spokesman Justin Jacobs said Saturday the track near Mosier, about 70 miles east of Portland, had been inspected at least six times since March 21. It was most recently checked last Tuesday, and within the past month, the company had used a detector car to check for imperfections as well as a geometry car to inspect the ground along the track.

Jacobs said the inspections met or exceeded federal requirements.

He also says the tank cars that derailed were newer model CPC-1232s, designed to be safer than the legacy DOT-111s.

Some have criticized the upgraded model as not safe enough to transport volatile Bakken oil. That's what the train that derailed Friday was carrying.

___

9:40

Washington state officials say there's a small oil sheen on the Columbia River where a train derailed and caught fire near Mosier, Oregon, 70 miles east of Portland.

The state Ecology Department says it has just completed a fly-over to get a better sense of the extent of the sheen, but it has oil booms in place that are capturing the substance.

Eleven cars carrying volatile Bakken oil derailed Friday, igniting a fire that sent a plume of black smoke into the sky. It forced the evacuation of a mobile home park with about 50 homes, though federal officials say they expect that order to be lifted later Saturday.

Authorities also closed part of Interstate 84, but reopened the highway at 11 p.m. Friday.

The river is the border between Oregon and Washington.

___

This story has been corrected to say I-84 reopened at 11 p.m. Friday, not on Saturday

___

9 a.m.

Federal authorities say crews have extinguished a fire at the site of an oil train derailment in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, but evacuations remain in place.

Eleven cars carrying volatile Bakken oil derailed Friday, igniting a fire that sent a plume of black smoke into the sky. It forced the evacuation of a mobile home park in Mosier with about 50 homes, though federal officials say they expect that order to be lifted later Saturday.

No injuries were reported, and authorities said they had no reports of oil reaching the Columbia.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard are monitoring the site.