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Dozens of coal cars derail in Columbus

Posted at 4:33 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:35-04

COLUMBUS – The Highway 78 railroad crossing in Columbus is open again Wednesday morning after as many as 45 coal cars derailed.

Montana Rail Link received notice of the derailment around midnight.

Railroad spokesman Jim Lewis said no injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved.

A company incident command team will assess the damages.

Lewis said the cause of the derailment was not immediately known.

An early estimate by the railroad company indicates 35 to 45 coal cars fell off the tracks.

Columbus Fire and Rescue said cars blocked the Third Street and Highway 78 crossings.

They also confirm there are no health risks and evacuations were not ordered.

The Highway 78 crossing opened at about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, but the other remained closed as crews worked to separate the cars and clear the scene.