(Rexburg, Oregon – October 8, 2011)
Eastern Idaho Railroad authorities saw no reason to notify local fire and police authorities in Rexburg, ID Friday night when the subsidiary of the WATCO short line and regional railroad group derailed several tank cars. Of the derailed cars, two contained highly volatile propane and two others previously containing gasoline still harbored highly explosive residue and fumes.
EIRR Spokesman Garrett Bolyward said that the railroad “didn’t notify anyone because they didn’t think the accident caused immediate danger.”
Fire Chief Corey Childs said that his department dispatched their hazmat crew as soon as they learned about the situation the next day. Bolyward said the probable cause of the derailment was a broken rail, and all hazardous material would be off-loaded from the cars before any attempts at re-railing the cars would be made.
WATCO’s corporate website boasts that “By placing a priority on safety, we protect our team members and the communities through which we operate.”