GUERNSEY—The diesel fuel and oil clean-up from the derailment involving two Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in Wendover Canyon two weeks ago is nearing completion. Mcbeth said the company would work to clean up and restore the area to its pre-incident condition.
According to Amy Mcbeth, BNSF Public Affairs Director, the work was around 95 percent complete near the end of the last week. Fuel was initially contained with booms—floating devices that soak up fuel and restrict the spread on the surface of the water. Some of the remaining fuel was burned off the surface of the water following the initial clean up. It is unknown at this time who initiated the burn but photos posted on a social media site showed the flames on the water.
The railroad has been working with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency in the response since the day of the February 4th accident northwest of Guernsey. Two BNSF employees escaped serious injury when an eastbound loaded coal train ran into the back of another loaded coal train that was stopped on the rail that lies between the North Platte River and a steep, three to four hundred foot wall that runs along the river for several miles.
The impact sent three motors off the rail, coming to rest along and in the water below. Four additional cars containing coal were also derailed but remained near the track.
Rail traffic resumed on the evening of Feb. 6. A cause for the derailment has not yet been determined and remains under investigation. Costs associated with the accident are not typically released, according to Mcbeth.