The following article, Deadly Train Derailment Closes Busy Interstate in Both Directions 'For the Foreseeable Future', was first published on Flag And Cross.
A fatal train derailment in Colorado Sunday has closed a major interstate highway “for an indefinite amount of time,” according to the local sheriff’s office.
KKTV reported that 12 train cars came off the track Sunday afternoon when a rail bridge collapsed and landed on I-25, crushing a northbound 18-wheeler and killing its driver. The train, which was hauling coal according to Colorado State Patrol spokesman Brian Lyons, derailed just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday. No vehicles other than the 18-wheeler were reported hit.
Local law enforcement moved quickly to establish alternate routes around the area, which KKTV said would be closed “for the foreseeable future.”
UPDATE: As of 5:10 p.m. Southbound motorist into Pueblo on I-25 should exit at MM108 west onto Purcell Blvd and south to HWY 50. If in Colorado Springs advised to take HWY 115 south into Penrose and Hwy 50 east to Pueblo. Note: Heavy traffic on Overton Road, avoid that area.
— PuebloCounty Sheriff (@PuebloCountySO) October 15, 2023
Apparently, however, some drivers were ignoring the sheriff’s specific instructions and seeking faster routes by trespassing, which the sheriff’s office unsurprisingly discouraged in a second update.
Motorist using Overton Road, should use Pace Road to get back to the interstate, which will take you to Exit 110. PLEASE DO NOT CUT THROUGH PRIVATE PROPERTY
— PuebloCounty Sheriff (@PuebloCountySO) October 16, 2023
The interstate was expected to be closed at least through some time Monday, according to the COtrip website.
“I-25 MP 107, north of Pueblo, is closed in both directions due to a bridge collapse and train derailment,” according to the site. “This will be an extended closure, possibly lasting through 10/16/2023. Seek alternate routes. … Expect long delays.”
The sheriff’s office, in a Facebook post and several updates Sunday, also warned drivers to “expect delays,” saying that the detours would be in place “for an indefinite amount of time.”
“Personnel from Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and National Transportation Safety Board are en route to Pueblo,” Lyons told KKTV. “They will have personnel on scene by mid-morning [Monday] to start the overall joint investigation … to determine exactly what caused this incident to occur.”
HAZMAT crews were also investigating any possible diesel leaks from the crushed semi and the possibility that a propane truck that had been reported to be in the area around the time of the crash could also have been involved.
“It’s an extended time before that cleanup can begin,” Lyons said, “because they have to do their investigation and they have to make sure everything is in its position to look and make sure they can have that determination as they start that investigation.”
KKTV noted that the derailment was the second such incident in the state in less than a week. On October 9, a train carrying “heavy military equipment” derailed in Colorado Springs.
There were no injuries in that incident, according to a statement from Union Pacific cited by KKTV.
“Union Pacific crews are responding to the incident, which is under investigation,” a statement from the company said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.