Coal Train Derails in Colorado; NTSB Suspects Broken Rail

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
image description
Image shows derailed train that caused bridge collapse, killing truck driver.
Colorado State Patrol, via X

PUEBLO, Colo.–– A BNSF coal train traveling near Pueblo on Sunday, Oct. 15 derailed on a bridge that runs over I-25.

The train consisted of 124 loaded coal cars and when the derailment of 30 cars occurred, it caused the bridge over which it was traveling to collapse, which landed on a tractor-trailer, killing the driver. The derailment also caused I-25 to be shut down through, as damaged cars and coal were spread all across the interstate.

The initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that a broken rail was probably the cause of the derailment. The broken rail was located east of the rail bridge.

At this writing, it is not clear who owns the bridge. BNSF told The Colorado Sun that the state of Colorado owns the bridge, but the Colorado Department of Transportation is checking records from when the bridge was built in the 1950s to determine ownership. The Sun reports that Matt Inzeao, who is the Colorado Department of Transportation’s communication director, said “We have been working through some conflicting information thus far. We do not have access to the maintenance and inspection activity performed by BNSF for the bridge.”

Other than the death of the truck driver, no injuries were reported.

RT&S will provide further details about this accident upon the release of the NTSBs Preliminary Report, which is expected in about a month.

Tags: , , ,