Mudslide derails freight cars, disrupting rail traffic

EVERETT — No injuries were reported as seven freight cars were knocked off the train tracks by a mudslide in Everett on Monday.

The incident occurred about 1:30 p.m. at the south end of the Port of Everett property below Rucker Hill, according to Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF Railway.

Some of the cars were knocked over onto their sides, while others buckled at their couplings but remained upright. The cars were carrying 11 containers; nine of those containers were knocked over and some were split open, Melonas said.

The sections of train on either side of the derailment were stopped. All traffic on the corridor between Everett and Seattle was suspended, Melonas said.

Sounder commuter trains and Amtrak passenger trains will have to wait at least until Wednesday afternoon to operate on the corridor between Everett and Seattle, Melonas said.

The railway, which owns the rail lines, prohibits passenger trains from operating in the area of a mudslide for 48 hours afterward.

Because of heavy rains Sunday night and a forecast for more precipitation, the moratorium will extend all the way to Seattle even though the slide was north of train stations in Mukilteo and Edmonds, Melonas said.

“It’s all situational,” he said.

Special bus service will be available for Sounder train commuters.

The freight train, led by four locomotives pulling 66 freight cars, was heading from Chicago to Seattle, Melonas said. The train was traveling slowly, at 17 mph, because a smaller slide had occurred in the area just two hours earlier, he said.

The cars that were struck contained materials used in cleaners, disinfectants and fertilizers, but the accident will not pose a hazard to human health, according to Melonas.

The substances included ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide and lemon concentrates and soap products, he said.

A crew of at least 50 is to work through the night to determine which rail cars and containers can be salvaged and put back onto rails and which will have to be scrapped, Melonas said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Wildlife, guns and property taxes are on the agenda in 2018

State lawmakers are pre-filing bills they hope to pass in the 2018 legislative session.

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Amtrak service from Seattle north unaffected by DuPont wreck

Sound Transit reported no disruptions for its Sounder commuter trains serving Edmonds and Seattle.

Two from Oak Harbor killed in head-on, 2-car crash

One car crossed the center line, hitting the other car. Both drivers died.

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Most Read