A cargo train in Idaho carrying 113 cars derailed into the Idaho river late Wednesday night due to a landslide that had obstructed the tracks. Photos taken from news sources show the engine completely in the river partially submerged by the water.
Boundary County Emergency Management, BNSF, ISP, Boundary CSO/EMS/Fire are on scene of a train derailment in the area of Crossport just east of Bonners Ferry. Be aware that local roads in the area may be congested or intermittently closed as crews work to remove the engines. pic.twitter.com/Z1iwdGVByk
— Idaho State Police (@ispdistrict1) January 2, 2020
A second car as well was partially in the water which left the driver and a few crew members having to be rescued by boat. Due to the intense fog, it was hard to see but luckily they brought in a helicopter that had night vision to assist in the rescue.
“Once we got onto the location we had good visibility above the wreckage except for the river, which was socked in with fog on one-half of the river, which was the side the train was on,” Rob Cherot, one of the rescue pilots called to the scene, told KXLY.
After they rescued the men, the next mission was to remove the train from the river. Out of the 113 cars only 7 of them had hazardous materials and fortunately, all of those cars were still on the track turned upright.
Shortly after 9:00pm on January 1st, North Bench Fire was dispatched for mutual aid on a train derailment in the water…
However, the engine that was submerged was reported by ABC News to have been leaking diesel fuel into the river. Firefighters and railway workers set up containment booms down the river in multiple spots to catch the diesel fuel and prevent it from contaminating the river even further.
In the meantime, officials issued a state of emergency on Thursday so that they can restrict boat access to the area while they are finishing the cleanup. Overall, the crew that was rescued was uninjured and the cleanup efforts are expected to have everything back to normal very soon.
“All the First Responders and agencies involved in the incident did an amazing job, and the crews faced a difficult and dangerous situation and were able to safely and effectively prevent loss of life and reduce further environmental impacts,” the North Bench Fire District said on Facebook.