The National Public Radio (NPR) recently reported on two BNSF freight train derailments, one in Washington and one in Arizona, with no injuries reported.
The Washington derailment occurred when two freight trains, operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), collided near the town of Auburn, Washington. The incident happened just after midnight on Tuesday, June 18th, disrupting Amtrak service and leading to the closure of a busy railroad crossing.
According to the Washington State Patrol, the two trains were traveling in opposite directions, one headed east and one headed west. The collision caused several railcars to derail and debris from the wreckage to be spread along the tracks. No injuries were reported, though the incident did cause significant delays for Amtrak travelers.
In Arizona, a BNSF freight train derailed near Flagstaff later that same day. The incident occurred at around 4:30 p.m. and involved seven railcars that derailed when the train, which was carrying freight, struck a boulder.
According to the Flagstaff Fire Department, the derailment caused no injuries, but did cause some damage to the track. The incident also temporarily closed a nearby highway.
The cause of both derailments is currently under investigation. BNSF spokeswoman Lana Hurdle released a statement saying, “We take all incidents seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the derailments. We are working with the NTSB and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of the public and our employees.”
The derailments are the latest in a string of incidents involving BNSF trains, and have prompted renewed scrutiny of the company’s safety practices. In the past year, the company has reported multiple derailments in both Washington and Arizona, including a fatal crash in Arizona in April.