It could be days before Interstate 25 reopens after deadly Colorado train derailment, police say

Efforts to remove debris from Interstate 25 The death train derailed on Sunday That could take days, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Monday.

State and central government officials are investigating the massive spillage of coal on the highway due to the derailment of the train. A train derailed after a railway bridge collapsed on a tractor-trailer on a 65-year-old flyover. Killed the driverA 60-year-old California man.

There was a half wedge under the bridge that came over the cab of the truck. Cracks were found in the concrete structure supporting the rails. Digging continued through the night to see if any other vehicles were buried under the coal.

Related: Both directions of I-25 were closed after the train derailed north of Pueblo

Now the police are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to allow state officials to begin cleanup efforts as quickly as possible.

“I am saddened that a life was lost in this train derailment and my condolences go out to his family and loved ones. I was notified by CDOT. Yesterday I spoke directly with Secretary Buttigieg and PNSF, the operator of the train,” police said. , in part, in a statement Monday. “We cannot begin our work to reopen the highway until the National Transportation Safety Board allows us to proceed, and I have urged Secretary Buttigieg to allow the debris removal as soon as possible. The estimated time for the debris removal phase is 48 hours, but I assure you that we are doing everything we can to complete it as quickly as possible. , now including early production, so we can start as soon as permitted and save precious hours.”

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I-25 is more than 1,000 miles long and runs mostly north to south from the Mexican-US border in New Mexico through northern Wyoming. The corridor is predominantly rural, particularly in Wyoming, passing through the Albuquerque, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins metro areas. It is Colorado’s main north-to-south highway.

The NTSB investigates certain traffic-related accidents and incidents involving airplanes, railroads, and bridges, as well as certain motor vehicle and marine incidents. The agency said it is investigating the accident and will ascertain the cause.

The train had five locomotives and 124 cars carrying coal, the NTSP said. Thirty cars derailed at milepost 109.7. A team of four NTSB investigators arrived at the scene Monday.

Transportation and police officials investigate the scene of a fatal train derailment north of Pueblo, Colorado, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.

CBS


“As part of this investigation, NTSP investigators will determine the probable cause of the derailment and examine the adequacy of track inspections, track maintenance, bridge structure and maintenance, and any issues with train equipment,” the agency said.

A preliminary report should be completed in about 30 days, but the final report could take one to two years, the NTSB said.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Maj. Brian Lyons said, “They’re starting the investigation. We’re working on the rest of the cleanup, and there’s going to be a significant amount of debris and everything on the road.”

Trains were moving on nearby tracks, but I-25 was shut down in both directions. Highway 115 is the recommended alternative.

“Anytime you see multiple rail cars piled up with coal all over the road, it’s a big deal, and once the highway is cleared to us it’s going to take some time to clean up, and if there’s damage to the highway, it’s going to have to be repaired,” Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amber Shipley told CBS News. told Colorado.

Related: A “catastrophic” hazmat incident in Denver is “highly likely,” new study shows

In addition to being Second train derailment in Colorado in less than a weekPolis, in his statement on Monday, spoke Broad infrastructure issues in Colorado and the state’s efforts to improve them.

“Our administration has been working for months to position Colorado to take advantage of the defense and rail investments made possible by Congress and President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation,” Polis said. “Unfortunately, those improvements have come too late to prevent this incident, but it’s clear that federal funding for rail support is critical to Colorado.”

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