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Local And Regional News

Jul 5, 2014 1:28 PM by MTN News - Missoula

Train derails west of Missoula, spilling airplane parts into river

NEAR ALBERTON -- A Montana Rail Link train en-route from Kansas to Washington derailed near Alberton west of Missoula on Thursday, sending three cars of aircraft components into the Clark Fork River.

MRL spokeswoman Linda Frost says the cars derailed at around 4 p.m. on Thursday about 18 miles east of Superior near Fish Creek Road and Interstate 90.

Frost tells MTN News a total of 19 cars derailed; seven cars with aircraft components, three cars carrying soybeans, three cars with denatured alcohol, and the other seven were empty.

Frost says some of the aircraft components landed in the Clark Fork River, but no alcohol or soybeans leaked.

Boeing says the parts were for 737, 777, and 747 aircraft on their way for final assembly.

She said no one was hurt.

Trains are being rerouted while crews clean up the derailment.

Frost says they expect to reopen the line Saturday evening.

The cause of the derailment is still being investigated.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks closed the Alberton Gorge section of the Clark Fork River between St. John's and Tarkio Fishing Access Sites so that debris from the derailment can be safely pulled from the river.

St. John's, Cyr Bridge, Triple Bridge, Ralph's Takeout and Tarkio access sites are all closed. The river and access site will reopen as soon as cleanup concludes.

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