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Train derailment shuts down street, highway in Augusta

Authorities investigate a train derailment in Augusta on Friday afternoon.
Authorities investigate a train derailment in Augusta on Friday afternoon. Courtesy photo

Investigators are looking into why seven train cars derailed Friday afternoon as a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train moved south through Augusta.

The derailment occurred shortly after 2 p.m. near 12th and Custer, said Tyler Brewer, director of the Augusta Department of Public Safety.

“An eyewitness watched one of the southbound train cars come off the track,” Brewer said.

By the time the train was able to stop, a total of seven cars had derailed. Five of the cars contained soybeans, one had soybean oil, and one had refrigerated meat, Brewer said.

U.S. 77 and Fifth Street were closed for hours after the derailment, he said, but 77 has since reopened.

“Fifth Street is going to be closed for a while,” Brewer said. “They’ve got crews on the way to clean that up.”

Investigators with the railroad are coming to check on the cause of the derailment.

“We don’t believe at all it was anything suspicious,” Brewer said.

No injuries were reported.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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