An 18-wheel-drive truck hit a train of chemicals and fuels in Cameron, Texas, early Tuesday, causing a huge explosion and starting a fire that is expected to burn for several days.
The town of Milam County at 5,400, about 120 miles northeast of Austin, was shaken by the barrier around 6 p.m. 06.45, according to Cameron Sheriff Chris White.
White said the driver of an 18-wheel-drive flatbed truck lost control of his vehicle, was unable to stop, swerved around a parked vehicle and into a railroad crossing where his truck hit a passing BNSF train.
“No one was injured or killed,”
A barn burned to the ground and several nearby houses were evacuated, but most people have returned to their homes.
The first 11 cars on the train were filled with gasoline, coal and oil products that caused the initial explosion and burned a fire that was still burning Tuesday night, White said.
A car further down the train filled with phosphoric acid solution was decoupled and moved to safety before it could be ignited by the burning fuel cars, and a specialized firefighter sent from BNSF arrived with heavy equipment to put out the fire.
“They’ve got a lot of people working on it,” White said Tuesday night. “They indicate that it may take up to two or three days to put out the entire fire.”
Seven or eight homes in the “very rural area” are affected, and those residents could be displaced for several days, White said.
Courtney Wallace, a spokeswoman for the BNSF, confirmed that an investigation is underway and said 13 of the train’s 110 cars derailed, 10 of which continued to burn on Tuesday night.
“Once the fire is extinguished, we will be able to determine how much product is left in the cars and work to remove them safely from the scene,” Wallace said in a statement. “Air quality testing in the area is underway.”