FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Cleanup is underway after a fallen log derailed a freight train in Fall River Monday night, causing hundreds of gallons of fuel to spill onto the tracks.
The train, which was carrying hazardous cargo, derailed near North Main and Clark streets, according to authorities.
The impact of the low-speed collision with the log, which authorities believe fell onto the tracks, punctured a hole in the train’s 1,800-gallon fuel tank.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Ed Coletta tells 12 News an estimated 500 gallons of fuel leaked out onto the tracks, as well as into the soil next to the tracks and a nearby drainage ditch.
Coletta said the company that owns the train hired a remediation consultant to address the fuel spill and assess the environmental impact.
The train’s tank has since been completely emptied from the puncture, according to Coletta, and absorbents were used to clean up the spilled fuel.
Coletta said the majority of Tuesday was spent getting the train back onto the tracks so it could be removed from the area.
Right now, he said it appears the remaining impacts of the fuel spill are limited to the railroad ballast and the soil beneath the tracks.
“We are unsure if groundwater below the site has been impacted, but that will be part of the ensuring investigation,” Coletta said. “No runoff of fuel from the area has been observed or reported.”
No one was injured and the train’s cargo remained intact. The investigation into the derailment and fuel spill is ongoing.