Gov. Brown brings in additional resources to contain train fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Brown brings in additional resources to contain train fire near Mosier

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A fire burned in Mosier after a train derailment Friday. Source: KPTV/Air 12 A fire burned in Mosier after a train derailment Friday. Source: KPTV/Air 12

A massive column of black smoke was sent into the air after 11 rail cars from a 96-car Union Pacific crude oil train derailed near Mosier on Friday.

The derailment was reported around 12:30 p.m., and thankfully no one was injured.

As resources from both Oregon and Washington are responding to Mosier, I-84 near Hood River remains closed in both directions and traffic is backed up for miles. Traffic is being directed across the bridge in Hood River across to White Salmon onto SR-14.

After the train derailed, thick, black smoke could be seen for miles in the Columbia River Gorge.

The people living in the small town of Mosier said they felt the impact.

"I felt something in the ground, saw something in the air, didn't seem right. Looked out the window, saw the train with rail cars stopping faster than I've ever seen happen," said one Mosier resident.

Union Pacific said 11 of 96 cars came off the tracks and oil was leaking from at least one of them, but it wasn't immediately clear whether that oil reached any waterways.

"We apologize to the residents of Mosier, the State of Oregon and the broader Pacific Northwest region for any inconvenience this incident may be cause," said Union Pacific spokesperson Justin Jacobs.

The Wasco County Sheriff said a mobile home park next to the tracks with about 50 units were evacuated as the Red Cross set up a temporary shelter.

People living up to a mile outside Mosier city limits were told they should get ready to evacuate.

"It's horrific to have something like this happen anywhere, particularly in the incredibly gorgeous Columbia River Gorge," said Governor Kate Brown.

Gov. Brown toured the scene of the derailment before speaking at a press conference in Hood River, saying there are no known injuries or property damage.

"Steps have been taken to contain possible contamination and minimize damage to wildlands and water supplies," said Gov. Brown.

Some people living in the scenic Columbia River Gorge said they have been fighting crude oil rail lines for years, saying a derailment like this isn't an accident but a matter of time.

"I wondered where it would happen, when it would happen. Now it has happened and dealing with it as a small town of 400 people and looking to the flames, I don't know what to say," said a Mosier resident.

Union Pacific said it's working on bringing in a boom to contain any potential spill. They are also collaborating with other agencies to do air monitoring.

The Washington Department of Ecology placed a boom in Rock Creek.

The City of Mosier has sent out a boil water notice to residents. They said the boil water advisory is a precaution.

On Friday night, Gov. Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the train derailment. This action will activate additional water tender resources in effort to contain the train fire.

"I am committed to making the necessary resources available to help keep the community of Mosier safe," said Governor Brown. "Additional water tenders and the coordination efforts of the Oregon State Fire Marshal are crucial elements to assist the firefighters on the ground."

Gov. Brown also said the cause of the derailment is under investigation.

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