Freight Cars Fall Into River as Bridge Collapses

Petroleum products are leaking, Montana officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
Freight Cars Fall Into River as Bridge Collapses
Several train cars sit in the Yellowstone River after a bridge collapse near Columbus, Montana, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

A bridge that crosses Yellowstone River in Montana collapsed Saturday morning, causing portions of a freight train that was traveling over it to fall into the water below. No crew members were injured, KSVI reports. Numerous tank cars were partially submerged in the river, and railroad crews were at the site near the town of Columbus, about 40 miles west of Billings. "Multiple tanker cars were damaged and are leaking petroleum products near the Yellowstone River," the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office posted online.

Officials at the Montana Rail Link could not be reached for comment. The river was swollen with recent heavy rains, per the AP, though it is unclear whether that contributed to the bridge collapse. The Yellowstone saw record flooding in 2022 that caused extensive damage to Yellowstone National Park and adjacent towns in Montana. The sheriff's office said, "There is no immediate threat to Yellowstone County," per the Missoulian. Water treatment plants, irrigation districts, and industrial companies in the area are taking precautions, the sheriff's office said.

(Read more Yellowstone River stories.)

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