Another Train Derailment in the Heartland

Another Train Derailment in the Heartland
By: Arnold Wyrick

(Belknap)--For the third time this month a train jumped the tracks and sent it's load all over the countryside.
This time the train was carrying coal instead of chemicals. It happened around 9 Wednesday night just outside of the town of Belknap in Johnson County. In all, 13 coal cars and an engine derailed. Burlington Northern officials aren't commenting about how the train derailed. But folks living near the derailment are talking.
"I asked them what had happened," says Jack Dunker of Belknap. "They said there's a little side track over there where they store a work truck. And they forgot to throw a switch, and the train plowed right into the work truck," Dunker said. Dunker and his neighbors were concerned about what the train was carrying. "We heard a couple of boom booms and thought it was thunder. But because my wife owns property over there right next to the railroad tracks we were concerned that it might have come on to there, but it hadn't," says Sam Morris.

Workers at the scene tell Heartland News that they'll have the tracks cleared and opened in the next 24 hours. Morris says that will be just fine with him. "I just wish they'd get it cleaned up. So this area would get back to normal," Morris said.

Two engineers on the train were slightly injured, they were released on Thursday morning with only minor scratches and bruises. The sheriff in Johnson County tells Heartland News that he thinks this derailment was an accident and that someone forgot to flip a switch on the tracks. We'll continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.