Train derailment causes crude oil fire, area residents evacuate
Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 8:29 pm
CUSTER, WA – Residents in Whatcom County were forced to evacuate the area after a train derailed and sparked a crude oil fire in several of the train cars on Tuesday.
TRAIN DERAILMENT UPDATE (2/2): DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO TO THE INCIDENT SITE. Fires are still active. It is not safe to approach. The investigation is ongoing. @BNSFRailway has set up a claims hotline for those who have been impacted by this evacuation. 1-866-243-4784
— Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (@whatcomsheriff) December 23, 2020
According to tweets from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, seven train cars derailed around 11:40 a.m. near the 7500 blk of Portal Way in Custer. The fire burned in two of those train cars but was quickly contained.
Around 1 p.m., officials began evacuating homes and businesses within a half-mile radius of the fires as a precaution.
There are no known injuries, but the BNSF Railway company set up a hotline for people to call and make claims if they were affected by the evacuation.
Officials lifted the evacuation order by 4:45 and allowed local residents back into their homes to shelter in place.
Police are still investigating the cause of the derailment.
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