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Freight train derails east of Havre

Updated July 21, 2023, 8:30 p.m.

BNSF says 11 cars of a 25-car freight train derailed east of Havre this afternoon, and when the railway will be reopened is unknown.

Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Amanda Frickel said crews will be working through the night and the hope is to have the rails open again by late in the day Saturday.

BNSF General Director of Public Affairs Lena Kent said the derailment happened at 4:39 p.m. today.

The derailment was 7-10 miles east of Havre, about three miles east of the rest stop east of Pork Chop Hill.

Equipment was working on clearing the derailment by about 6 p.m., and people were warned to avoid driving the route and to expect delays as work continued.

Frickel said before 6 p.m. the derailment included one car containing paint thinner, but that remained sealed and was not causing any immediate danger, Frickel said.

BNSF Railway hazmat personnel were at the site.

No injuries were reported.

Kent said the cause of the derailment is being investigated but was unknown at the time this report was filed.

Havre Daily was waiting at the time this was filed for information from Amtrak about how this would impact the passenger rail service.

Watch for more here and in Monday's edition of Havre Daily News.

July 21, 2023, about 6 p.m.

A freight train derailed east of Havre this afternoon, a few miles east of Pork Chop Hill.

Equipment was on the way to start moving the cars and Montana Highway Patrol was to direct or limit traffic.

Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Amanda Frickel said about 6 p.m. that people should try to avoid the route for at least an hour.

Frickel said drivers should expect to be limited to 25 mph if they are allowed to drive through the area.

No injuries were reported.

25 cars were derailed including one containing paint thinner, but remained sealed and was not causing any immediate danger, Frickel said.

BNSF Railway hazmat personnel were at the site.

Havre Daily was waiting at the time this was filed for more information from BNSF and information from Amtrak.

Watch for more here and in Monday's edition of Havre Daily News.

 

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