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Coal train derails in southern Montana

September 26, 2018

Crews work Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, to clear damaged rail cars after a freight train derailment in the south-central Montana town of Columbus. Montana Rail Link spokesman Jim Lewis says the 40 cars that derailed at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 were carrying 4,720 tons (4,282 metric tons) of coal. No one was injured. (Ardona Robbins/Stillwater County News via AP)

COLUMBUS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Rail Link officials say about 40 cars of a coal train derailed in south-central Montana, closing the main rail line.

The derailment happened at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at Columbus.

Montana Rail Link spokesman Jim Lewis says the cars that derailed were carrying a total of 4,720 tons (4,282 metric tons) of coal. The train was traveling just under 40 mph (64 kilometers per hour) when it went off the tracks.

Officials say no one was injured and there is no health risk. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Heavy equipment was brought in to right the cars and remove debris.

KULR-TV reports train cars initially blocked a crossing in Columbus, but the crossing was cleared Wednesday morning. Lewis said they expect to have the main rail line open by Thursday morning.

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