Train derails, two wagons fell off a bridge in Houston

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HOUSTON, TX - It could have been a tragedy.  A train derailed and two wagons fell off a bridge over Old Katy Road near Washington Avenue.

"I came to work early this morning," said Houston resident Ana Martinez.  "I heard a loud noise… like a bang!"

Miraculously, no motorists were passing by when the accident happened.

"Certainly we are very fortunate that there weren't any injuries at all, sustained either by the crew or any of the passing motorists," explained Jeff Degraff, Union Pacific spokesperson.  "That is why the investigation into why this happened is gonna be very important."

Still we don't know why this train operated by the Kansas City Southern went off the rails.  But it happened just a few feet away from the Houston office of the Texas Department of Transportation… Isn't that ironic?

"Nine cars, including a locomotive, came off the rails," said Degraff.  "Two cars fell off the overpass, one car containing soy beans and the other containing plastic pellets.  So, there's no hazardous materials involved in the incident.  We also have an additional three-rail cars on the west side of the bridge that had derailed on their sides."

The Houston Fire Department, HPD and agents from the Harris County Sheriff's office arrived at the scene as soon as the incident took place.  The road was closed both ways.  Union Pacific brought its crews and machinery to re-rail the train.  But many questions remain: was this a man-made accident, a mechanical problem or an issue with the rails?  The investigation goes on, and will hopefully stay on track.

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