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Train derails into Yellowstone River; bridge collapses; tanker cars leaking asphalt, sulfur (UPDATE)
Image source: Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office

Train derails into Yellowstone River; bridge collapses; tanker cars leaking asphalt, sulfur (UPDATE)

Update 5:30 p.m. ET: Two cars carrying sodium hydro sulfate were included in the consist, but neither entered the water. Initial air quality assessments confirm no release event associated with those two cars, Montana Rail Link told TheBlaze in a statement.

Multiple tanker cars carrying hazardous materials derailed and a bridge over the Yellowstone River collapsed Saturday morning in Stillwater County, Montana, authorities reported.

"There are several cars in the river," Montana Rail Link told TheBlaze in a statement, adding that several hazmat cars were included.

The train crew is safe and no injures were reported, according to the statement.

"The safety of our employees and the public remains our top priority. We are committed to addressing any potential impacts to the area as a result of this incident and working to understand the reasons behind the accident," Montana Rail Link also said.

"I'm monitoring the train derailment in Stillwater County, and the state is standing by to support as Montana Rail Link and county officials assess their needs," Gov. Greg Gianforte tweeted.

The train was traveling westbound at approximately 6:45 a.m. when a portion derailed while traversing the bridge.

The MRL tanker cars, originally thought to be leaking petroleum products, contained asphalt and a second unidentified substance described as "slow moving," YCSO shared, referencing the "most current information" shared by Stillwater County News.

The second substance was sulfur, KRTV reported.

The derailment and bridge collapse took place between Columbus and Reed Point near Twin Bridges Road, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported.

The agency advised the public to avoid the water from Twin Bridges Road to Buffalo Mirage Fishing Access Site due to potential contaminants, adding that the Stillwater River was closed from White Bird FAS to the confluence with the Yellowstone River.

YCSO reported that water treatment plants, irrigation districts, and industrial companies were "taking appropriate precautions."

Officials from Montana's Disaster and Emergency Services and Yellowstone County's Emergency and General Services are asking residents to conserve water.

"Water treatment facilities in Laurel, Billings, and Lockwood, as well as the irrigation canal companies, have instituted emergency protective measures, including shutting down head gates, due to a potential hazmat spill," YCEGS shared on Facebook.

MRL personnel and first responders are onsite and the derailment is under investigation.

Montana Rail Link is a Class II regional railroad that operates over 900 route miles of track in Montana, according to its website.

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