Heavy rains in eastern Oklahoma are being blamed for the Sunday morning derailment of two engines and 10 cars of a Union Pacific freight train near Sallisaw.
The train derailed at a site 5 miles east of Sallisaw and north of highway U.S. 64 according to Sequoyah County Emergency Management Director Steve Rutherford. At least 6 inches of rain had been reported in Sallisaw prior to the incident and some of the tracks had apparently been washed out by flooding.
No one on the train was injured but some of the cars were carrying liquid petroleum gas. At least 5 nearby homes were evacuated as crews checked for any possible leaks. The homes were within one-quarter mile from the site of the accident. By noon on Sunday, residents were allowed to return to their homes.
It’s estimated cleanup of the UP derailment could take several days. The derailment also caused classes to be cancelled on Monday at the nearby Central Public Schools.