Boeing investigators were dispatched to a train derailment in Montana that ended with Boeing airplane fuselages and other equipment sliding into a river Thursday.
Boeing spokesman Larry Wilson said in a statement that a BNSF Railway train carrying six 737 fuselages and assemblies for 777 and 747 planes derailed near Rivulet, about 18 miles east of Superior, Mont.
Photos taken by rafters on the Clark Fork River showed at least three fuselages scattered along the river bank.
The train was westbound on track operated by Montana Rail Link (MRL) when 19 cars derailed, spilling the equipment down a steep riverbed and into the river. MRL spokeswoman Lynda Frost told a Missoula radio station the derailment happened around 4 p.m. No injuries were reported.
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“Those cars contained aircraft components, denatured alcohol and soybeans,” she told KGVO. She said crews worked through the night to recover the load and attempt to clear the tracks.
According to The Associated Press, 13 of the cars that derailed were carrying freight, mostly aircraft parts with some soybeans and denatured alcohol. Six were empty.
Frost said the alcohol didn’t leak and no soybeans spilled. She said crews were working to remove the aircraft parts from the water.
The train was headed to Boeing’s final-assembly plant in Renton from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kan. As of Friday, trains were being rerouted while repairs were made. Frost said the line should reopen by Saturday evening.
Colleen Wright: 206-464-2240 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Colleen_Wright