Strong Winds ‘Likely' Toppled Train in Western Oklahoma

A National Weather Service meteorologist says it appears "likely" that wind gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph) caused a BNSF Railways train to derail in western Oklahoma

A BNSF Railways train derailment in western Oklahoma was "likely" caused by wind gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph), National Weather Service meteorologist Phillip Ware said Tuesday.

The strong winds and the derailment both occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday, Ware said.

"It appears very likely that they were related," Ware said.

The train was traveling from Amarillo, Texas, to northwestern Ohio when 16 cars derailed, according to BNSF spokesperson Courtney Wallace.

"There are no injuries to the crew and none of the derailed cars contain hazmat. We have crews on site working to restore both main tracks. The current time for reopening is undetermined," Wallace said in a statement.

Ware said the Oklahoma storm was not part of the derecho that swept across the Midwest on Monday with 100 mph (160 kph) winds and power similar to an inland hurricane, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles and causing widespread property damage from Chicago into Indiana and Michigan.

"The storms we had (Monday) night originated over Kasas and the western Texas Panhandle and just congealed over our area," Ware said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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