Crews clean up after train derailment

By Alyssa Donovan

April 29, 2014 Updated Apr 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM CDT

LAURA, Ill. -- Crews continued to clean up on Tuesday after a massive train derailment just off of Laura Road and Route 78 in Laura.

More than 40 rail cars were lifted off the track around 5 p.m. Monday, dumping 86 containers onto the ground.

The National Weather Service confirmed strong winds were to blame and that in order to cause this kind of damage winds must be at least 80 miles per hour.

Along with the train derailment, more than a dozen power lines were knocked down. Power has been restored to roughly 1,000 affected customers.

Several utility crews were working on repairs Tuesday.

Andy Williams from BNSF Rail said in the case of severe weather, a train crew has the discretion to stop the train or slow down to prevent damage or injury.

He said it is possible the train was moving slower.

A representative from J.B. Hunt Transport, one of the main carriers, said most of the cars were carrying consumer products.

“We carry all kinds of various products, household goods to clothing, whatever can fit in a container we move it," said Brian Wasko, Intermodal Manager for J.B. Hunt Transport. "We had, out of 72 units on the train, 65 of ours are now laying in the mud."

This is a two line track one of the tracks was reopened around 1 p.m. Tuesday. The other track was expected to reopen around 7 p.m.