Train derails in SWAR, causes traffic delays

Train derails in SWAR, causes traffic delays
(Source: Fred Gamble, KSLA News 12)
(Source: Fred Gamble, KSLA News 12)
(Source: Lafayette County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Lafayette County Sheriff's Office)

LAFAYETTE CO., AR (KSLA) - Authorities in Southwest Arkansas are working to clean up more than two dozen rail cars after a train derailment.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. Sunday on U.S. Highway 82 between Lewisville, Arkansas and Texarkana.

County officials say the cars were loaded with frac sand, which is not hazardous. The frac sand is a natural material made from sandstone.

The train was traveling west when 37 of the 125 cars derailed.

Union Pacific investigators are still trying to determine what cause the wreck. Several hundred feet of rails were damaged as a result, along with a railroad bridge.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

The tracks run adjacent to Hwy. 82 which could cause some traffic delays.

"It is right down the main heart highway through our country as and we have a major traffic problem developing. It's going to be a long, drawn-out deal we are going to have to go down to one lane," explained Lafayette County Sheriff Obie Sims.

A field of heavy equipment is changing the landscape in the area as crews work to clean up the damage.

"We have the rail cars cleared at this time, but we do not have time to complete the repairs just yet," Union Pacific Spokesman Jeff Degraff told KSLA News 12 on Monday. "Our investigators are on the scene, they're looking at the damage to figure out what happened and what needs to be done to prevent it. We do not have an official cause just yet."

Sims said clean up could take two to three days.

"We just need everyone to please be careful and not be stopping and taking pictures and that kind of stuff because it just makes it worse on everybody," said Sims.

Union Pacific officials said the train was traveling to Laredo, Texas from Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

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