Train Equipment Stuck On Train Bridge Above Columbia River
FINLEY, Wash - A man was driving over the train bridge between Benton and Walla Walla counties on Monday afternoon, when the bridge started to rise. He jumped out, but the maintenance equipment he was driving went over the bridge, and got stuck, said Benton County Fire District #1 Chief, Bob Gear.
The Union Pacific Railroad equipment was left dangling over the Columbia River, stuck by a crane arm, Gear said.
The equipment is about the size of a pickup truck, Gear said. About 25-50 gallons of hydraulic oil have spilled into the Colombia River.
Union Pacific Railroad workers tried to release the equipment from the bridge Monday night, but decided they'd go back to work in the light on Tuesday morning.
"We had some real concerns about the safety of those guys working at night, under the bridge in the dark with oil and fuel spilled on their working surfaces, so we've put two dive boats in the water and have them standing by," Gear said.
Firefighters, the Coast Guard, the Department of Ecology and a cleanup contractor were all called out by Union Pacific Railroad leaders. However, they didn't call until 5 p.m., a couple of hours after it happened.
The driver was taken to Kennewick General Hospital with minor injuries, Gear said.