(Benbrook, Texas – July 18, 2013)
The cause of a derailment in the far southwest greater Fort Worth, TX area was still under investigation late Thursday morning after two locomotives and seven cars of a Union Pacific freight train traveling from Tucson, AZ to Dallas, TX derailed at about 5:00 A.M., injuring two train crew members and causing panic that a car loaded with at least 30,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate was among the derailed cars.
Hazardous material responders later learned that the car was empty, thus significantly reducing the hazard. Ammonium nitrate was the chemical believed to have been involved in the massive explosion that devastated the community of West, TX this past April 17, killing 14 people, most of them volunteer firefighters from the West VFD. The mere mention of the possible involvement of the flammable, explosive chemical now causes concern everywhere in the southwest.
The train’s lead locomotive went over on its side, injuring both crew members, with one being treated at the scene and the other transported to a Fort Worth, TX hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
The 45-car train had just passed beneath heavily-travelled Interstate Highway 20, and the derailment site was near the intersection of Aledo Road and Markum Ranch Road near Aledo, TX. A number of area roads were shut down as Tarrant County Sheriff’s Dept. officers and firefighters from the Benbrook Fire Dept. secured the area until it could be stabilized.