Train Cars Carrying Ethanol Derail, Catch Fire In Fort Worth

Alan Scaia
April 24, 2019 - 4:17 am
Train Derail, Fort Worth,

Credit: NBCDFW.com

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - Several rail cars carrying ethanol caught fire on a train in Fort Worth Wednesday morning, leading to evacuations in a nearby neighborhood. The resulting fire spread to a nearby barn, killing three horses.

A Fort Worth fire mobile command unit caught fire at the scene of the incident after a piece of equipment struck an overhead powerline. It was determined that blaze was not related to the ethanol-related fire. No firefighters or railroad employees were hurt.

Union Pacific says a train carrying 25 cars derailed south of Berry Street and East of Interstate 35W about 12:30 a.m.

The Fort Worth Fire Department says the call came in as a structure fire. Crews arrived and found several train cars burning. They surrounded the train to contain the fire, but people in about 20 homes nearby were urged to evacuate.

"We did not make that mandatory," says the Fort Worth Fire Department's Kyle Clay. "I'm not sure if these people actually left or not."

When the crews arrived and found train cars carrying ethanol were burning, they called HazMat teams from both Fort Worth Fire and Union Pacific to the scene.

Firefighters were told to take a defensive approach to keep the fire from spreading.

"It's just a matter of step-by-step, making sure people are safe then trying to protect the environment around the area," Clay says. "We're going to be as safe as we can. We're protected for it; we're trained for it. We try to take everything as it comes."

HazMat and crews from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are monitoring air quality near the site. Clay says exposure to ethanol can cause dizziness and nausea.

Union Pacific is still investigating the cause of the derailment.