Train Derailment Near Mesa Spills Coal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Train Derailment Near Mesa Spills Coal

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MESA, Wash. -  A railroad spokesman says about 30 cars of a 125-car coal train bound from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to British Columbia have derailed along a Columbia River Gorge route east of Pasco blocking a main rail line.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said no injuries were reported in the Monday evening derailment.

He says 20 of the derailed train cars are positioned in a pile, while the other 10 are on their side. Melonas says no environmental threat was reported.

Railroad officials are on site and the cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Melonas says more than 30 trains use that track daily. Heavy equipment was being dispatched from Pasco to shove the rail cars off the line so crews can replaced the damaged tracks. BNSF hopes to reopen the rail line as soon as Tuesday. 

Melonas says some rail traffic is being rerouted to Ellensburg.

The line could be open as early as Tuesday sometime, but train cars may remain along the railroad tracks for a few weeks as crews clean-up the area. Crews will also remove the coal later this week.

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