UPDATE: Train derailed and on fire near Oklaunion, over 20 railcars on fire

Local News

We are updating this story as new information comes in. Check back here often to see the latest.

WILBARGER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A train has derailed and caught fire outside of Vernon, near Oklaunion.

UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 8, 5:30 p.m.

According to an official with BNSF Railway company, 28 of the 98 cars on the train derailed at approximately 10 a.m. this morning.

As of 5:32 p.m., 25 of the derailed cars carrying ethanol were on fire.

There are no reported injuries to crewmembers.

BNSF and local authorities are on the scene. BNSF stated there is no threat to the surrounding community.

The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation.


UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 8, 1:50 p.m.

According to our reporter on scene, US 287 is being opened back up to traffic.

Multiple train cars are still on fire.


UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 8, 12:28 p.m.

According to Vernon Fire Chief Chris Cook and Wilbarger County Sheriff Brian Fritze, 11 train cars are derailed from the track. 10 cars are still on fire currently.

The cause of the derailment is unknown because of the ongoing fire.

Burlington Northern Sante Fe is sending assistance from Fort Worth. BNSF has the equipment to extinguish the fire.

Chief Cook said once BNSF arrives, the fire effort will be up to them. There are fire tenders and trucks on scene ready to assist.

Fire departments from multiple surrounding areas are assisting, including Iowa Park, Wichita Falls, Vernon, Electra and Jolly.

US 287 is closed in both directions. Traffic is being rerouted.


ORIGINAL STORY: According to an initial report from the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the derailment is near Oklaunion, east of Vernon off of US 287. The derailment is under one of the overpasses, impacting US 287.

Currently, north and southbound lanes of US 287 are being rerouted.

Around 30 train cars carrying denatured alcohol have derailed. Approximately three to four rail cars are on fire at this time. 

The train has been able to disconnect some cars and are moving what they can away from the derailment. 

Wichita Falls Fire Department has been requested and are responding with their Hazmat resources.  Sheppard Air Force Base is responding with their crash units to attempt a foam suppression on the fire. 

The rail line belongs to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).

No evacuations have been reported at this time.

Responding agencies include Vernon Fire Department, Wichita Falls Fire Department, Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department, Wilbarger County Sheriffs Office, and Wilbarger Office of Emergency Management. 

A video sent in by an anonymous viewer shows what can be seen from the road.

We are sending reporters to the scene now to gather more information.

This is an ongoing incident. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage as we learn more.

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