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18-wheeler derails 13 train cars, starts large fire in crash near Cameron
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18-wheeler derails 13 train cars, starts large fire in crash near Cameron

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An 18-wheeler collided with a passing train near Cameron Tuesday morning, derailing 13 train cars and forcing evacuations due to a fire.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the wreck happened around 6:40 a.m. on F.M. 2095 several miles south of Cameron. The train was passing through an intersection with the emergency gates down when the driver of the 18-wheeler went around a car waiting at the railroad crossing and collided with the fourth or fifth train car, which caused the derailment and a subsequent fire.

Milam County Sheriff Chris White told reporters at the scene that the train cars were carrying coal, gasoline and other materials. The wreck caused a fire, which prompted Cameron police to evacuate surrounding homes and other residents in the nearby Marlow community.

BNSF Railway officials said on Twitter that 10 cars caught fire, including five carrying gasoline and five carrying non-hazardous material.

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No injuries have been reported, White said, including the driver of the 18-wheeler and the train’s crew.

“It’s just putting the fire out and cleaning the mess up,” White said. “Everything is good and there’s no hazards to the people of the community.”

Getting the fire contained in short order allowed a crisis to be averted. White said the 15th train car was carrying a hazardous material — phosphoric acid — but BNSF officials were able to move that train car before the fire reached it, which White said could’ve caused further evacuations in Cameron.

Members of the Cameron, Hearne, Rosebud and Temple fire departments were at the scene Tuesday tending to the fire and wreckage. White said the Temple crew brought heavy hazardous matertial suits and BNSF is sending crews from Houston and Dallas with heavy foam to extinguish the fire. Helicopters were used to get an overall visual of the wreckage.

Clean up is expected to continue throughout the day Tuesday.

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