Train derails west of Simms, Texas

Published: Oct. 9, 2015 at 6:58 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2015 at 6:58 PM CDT
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No injuries have been reported as a result of the derailment about 35 miles west of Texarkana....
No injuries have been reported as a result of the derailment about 35 miles west of Texarkana. (Fred Gamble/ KSLA News 12)

SIMMS, TX (KSLA) - A train derailment Friday afternoon about 6 miles southwest of Simms, Texas, injured no one but left behind a large mess to be cleaned up.

There is no immediate word on whether the crossing at County Road 4269 remains blocked and, if so, how long it will be until it is cleared.

Even so, there should be no major traffic problems as the railroad company removes the debris, Bowie County, Texas, authorities say. They could not say how long the cleanup will take.

At least 13 cars of the Union Pacific train left the tracks, with some overturning.

Simms firefighters extinguished a small fire beneath one of the cars. Otherwise, emergency crews said, the train was carrying sand and posed no threat to public safety.

"Naturally, we always worry about hazardous waste being spilled out here and having to evacuate," said Malvern Stewart, who lives near the railroad tracks nearby in Bassett, Texas.

Simms Fire Chief Paul Beard said: "There is no reason for anyone to be scared or bothered right now as far as this is concerned because there is no haz-mat situation. And there is no danger to the public."

The westbound train was traveling through Bowie County en route to Big Sandy, Texas, when it derailed about 35 miles west of Texarkana.

Residents of the area say this is not the first derailment there.

"We have been lucky so far," Stewart said. "This is just an unforeseen situation that happens."

Representatives of the Bowie County emergency management office have been called in to assess the damage.

And what caused the rail cars to leave the tracks has yet to be determined.

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