North Texas

NTSB Begins Investigation into Fort Worth Train Derailment

A team of investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board is in North Texas to try to determine why a train derailed before bursting into flames early Wednesday morning in Fort Worth.

It happened just off of Yuma Drive, near Echo Lake Park.

The Union Pacific train was hauling ethanol through the city when 25 of its cars came off the railroad tracks. Five of them caught fire.

Flames and smoke poured out of the cars for hours, spreading to a nearby barn that burned to the ground. The owners of the barn said three horses perished inside.

Union Pacific said its crew on board the train was not hurt. No firefighters were injured either.

A spokesperson for the NTSB said its five-person team arrived at the site Thursday morning -- and will likely spend the next five to seven days there investigating three primary areas:

  • The crew: Investigators will speak to the crew that was on board the train to find out what conditions were like, how they handled those conditions, and what, if anything, affected their ability to operate the train.
  • The equipment: They'll look at the train itself, as well as the railroad tracks in the area, to determine whether everything was functioning properly at the time.
  • The environment: They'll investigate what role the weather played in the derailment.

Once they finish up at the site, it will take them roughly a month to put together and release a preliminary report on the derailment.

A spokesperson for Union Pacific said the company was also conducting its own investigation into the incident.

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