Oil train derails and catches fire in Oregon; highways and schools evacuated

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From Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue
From Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue

MOSIER, Ore. — A train towing cars full of oil derailed in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, sparking a fire and forcing the closure of Interstate 84 Friday afternoon.

Emergency crews were first called to reports of the derailment in the Mosier area around 12:30 p.m.

Ken Armstrong, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry, says the incident involves eight cars filled with oil and one is burning.

The Oregon Department of Transportation shut down I-84 around 1 p.m. as black smoke billowed into the sky.

Everyone within a half-mile was evacuated, including a nearby charter school.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, KPTV reports.

The train was operated by Union Pacific. A spokesman for the railroad didn’t immediately return calls.

Mosier is about 70 miles east of Portland.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released a statement about the derailment Friday.

I am grateful to local first responders, HazMat teams, and other state agencies for doing their best to keep the community of Mosier safe. I am closely monitoring the situation and ready to make every state resource available as needed. I ask that travelers seek alternate routes away from this area until further notice. The Oregon Department of Transportation will provide continuous updates on travel conditions.


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