Train derails, catches sawmill on fire in Bienville Parish

BIENVILLE PARISH, LA (KSLA) - At least 16 train cars derailed in the town of Ada Taylor after the lead locomotive hit a log truck. Now the train cars and a sawmill plant are on fire and state highway 80 is closed. Some of the train cars went into the building.

The accident happened early Monday afternoon at the intersection of LA Highway 80 and Blacklake Road. Authorities at the scene tell KSLA News 12 that 12 to 16 boxcars derailed after an accident involving a log truck. Police say no one, including the log truck driver, was injured.

The truck driver, 44-year-old Tracy Patton, tells KSLA he never saw nor heard the horns of the train. The tracks are not equiped with armrails.  Patton says, "Just driving and I looked I slowed down, I didn't see the train didn't hear the horn, next thing I know the train hit me."  Patton was cited for failure to yield.

But neighbors, like Peggy Hughes, who lives right across the street from the intersection says she heard the horns and the crash. "Just bam bam bam bam bam the crash hitting together and I ran out and saw the guy was okay he looked to be okay he was in the log truck."

Authorities say they haven't ordered any evacuations, but say there is a concern that propane tanks may be inside the burning sawmill and could catch fire and explode.  Several pops have been heard coming from the sawmill maintenance building.

For now, Highway 80 in Bienville Parish is closed from right off of I-20. Only local traffic is being allowed in.

The log truck belongs to Murphy Brothers Trucking out of Arcadia, LA. The train is owned by Kansas City Southern. At least one of the boxcars was carrying fans another was carrying tennis shoes and tools kits.

Already trucks carrying new tracks and heavy equipment that will move the mangeled box cars were brought to clean up the accident. This, while fire fighters still worked to put the fire out.