East bound train derails near Beulah
By Kate Johnson
Thursday morning a call came into Mercer County dispatch that a train had derailed heading east in Beulah. Emergency responders were paged, roads were swiftly blocked, and neighbors were notified.
The east bound train hauling tar oil, naphtha oil, and coal came to a halt on the tracks beside Chaffee Row. At the time, the Mercer County Sheriff’s department said it appeared to have hit a soft spot.
Beulah Rural Fire Protection District Chief Eli Schumann later reported that it seemed a rail broke, which caused the train and its cars to roll north, pulling the wheels off the track.
Nine cars in total came off the track. Of those cars, five were holding tar oil, three were holding naphtha oil, and one was empty.
The part of the train that was unaffected and hauling coal was able to detach and continue to head east, leaving the nine cars to sit and wait for help.
Both the Sheriff’s department and Schumann said that, because there was no leak, there was no immediate threat or danger. However, the home along Chaffee Row nearest to the activity was evacuated as a precaution.
The North Dakota Health Department arrived on scene to conduct a few tests to determine that the area was safe. Schumann stated that everyone was lucky that there was no leak, and that the derailment took place where it did.