Train Derails Near Pritchett - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/11/05-Pritchett

Train Derails Near Pritchett

A massive clean-up job is underway in Upshur County. A train derailed near the small town of Pritchett. The Union Pacific train jumped the tracks around 2:00 a.m. on the rail that runs parallel to highway 155 near FM 1404 in Pritchett, just south of Gilmer. 15 cars plowed into and embankment, then crashed into some trees and spilled sand and lime into the area.

Texas Parks and Wildlife is testing the water there to make sure a local stream wasn't contaminated. The crash also damaged a rail bridge. People at nearby Etta's Restaurant were shaken by the news of the derailment.

"The houses are built very close to the tracks and that was certainly very scary and one of my first thoughts was the safety for the people that live close to the track, we're even close to the tracks, but not nearly as close as some of the homes," said local resident Doris Thomas.

"I was a little scared because I didn't know what the trains contained, and if it would be a threat to the community of Pritchett, so I was worried and worried about the people who could possibly be injured," said nearby resident Paige Williams.

Workers have been trying to repair the quarter mile section of track for hours now. Because of the amount of damage, they could be at it for as long as 48 hours. They will try to have the track put back together as fast as possible, because no freight can run through the area until repairs are made.
Any lengthy delay could cost thousands in freight costs. We're told there is no chemical danger to people who live nearby.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

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