Sheriff deputies rescue BNSF crew

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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An environmental group believes BNSF should do more with clean-up efforts following a derailment in Idaho.
David C. Lester

ABC FOX Montana is reporting that a BNSF train derailed near Bonners Ferry in Idaho, which is in the extreme northern part of the state, less than 50 miles from the Canadian border. The derailment occurred at approximately 11 p.m. Wednesday evening (New Year’s evening), and the lead locomotive ended up in the Kooteani River.

BNSF reported to the Boundary Country Sheriff’s Office that two crew members were in the cab of the locomotive, and not able get out. It took the Sheriff’s Department Marine boat to reach the crew members and free them. While the train crew was taken to a medical facility, the Bonners Ferry Firefighters said the crew was in good shape, and no injuries were reported.

According to BNSF, the derailment was caused by a rockslide and tied up the Northern Transcon until service was restored around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. BNSF also said that “since the incident occurred, crews and contractors have been working around the clock to clear the scene, repair affected track, and most importantly, ensure the safety of future train movements once operations resumed. As part of this challenging work, engineers were deployed onto the steep incline above the track to remove rock hazards as well as conduct inspections of the rock slope.”

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