Three tanker cars in an oil train from North Dakota derailed at a rail yard in Seattle early Thursday, but BNSF Railway says none of the oil spilled.
BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said a locomotive and buffer car loaded with sand also left the rails about 2 a.m. at the Interbay yard as the train with 102 cars of Bakken oil was pulling out, headed for a refinery at Anacortes.
From Seattle’s Magnolia Bridge, workers could be seen operating a tractor to try and get a derailed oil train back on track. It appeared that at least one train car was slightly off kilter on the track.
The train was one of about 10 trains that passes through Seattle and other parts of Western Washington every week, carrying oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to refineries on Puget Sound.
On Wednesday the Seattle City Council issued a letter to the U.S. secretary of transportation seeking a prohibition on oil trains coming through the city. It was the first such oil-train prohibition request from a major city in the U.S.
Melonas said the train was traveling at about 5 miles per hour at the time. Two of the tankers are leaning. The other derailed cars remained upright. No one was injured.
Melonas said crews expect to have the cars back on the rails and the track repaired by midnight Thursday. Trains are moving on other tracks through the area.