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Friday, March 16, 2018

A tanker rail car rests on its side north of Glendive Monday afternoon.

Tanker cars derail near Glendive

“Why they came unhooked, nobody seems to know,” Tim Mort, West Glendive Fire Department chief

By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
A pair of tanker rail cars derailed just outside Glendive Sunday afternoon, but fortunately, no spill resulted from the accident.

The incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The two rail cars – each loaded with 26,000 gallons of diesel fuel – were being moved along a private rail siding owned by Fila Oilfield Services when they broke loose. The Fila siding is located along the Sidney Highway near Hollecker Lake.

“They were spotting (the rail cars) and two of them came off and rolled back down the hill, hit the derailer, rolled over and knocked the wheels off,” said West Glendive Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Mort.

Mort added that it was “fortunate” the derailer was installed and functioned properly so the cars did not roll back on to the main rail line or endanger the nearby Yellowstone River.

“That derailer they put on the line worked the way it was supposed to,” Mort said.

Luckily, neither tanker spilled its cargo either.

“There was no spillage or leakage,” Mort said.

So far, Mort said there is no indication of what caused the accident.

“Why they came unhooked, nobody seems to know,” he said.

The WGFD spent much of the day Monday on the scene to provide assistance in the cleanup operation. R.J. Corman Derailment Services out of Billings was called in to pull the tanker cars off the track and back onto level ground.

They succeeded in getting one tanker car pulled off the track Monday, but did not get the second out after it was determined the risk of causing a spill or other calamity was too great.

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