DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Roadways were shut down in Dallas on Wednesday night and Thursday morning after a Union Pacific train derailment led to a chemical leak near the downtown area. The incident happened just before 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, when crews from Dallas Fire-Rescue were called to the scene on Riverfront Boulevard, near the Lew Sterrett Justice Center.
The train consisted of six locomotives and 58 cars in tow, and was heading to Fort Worth when the incident took place. Eleven of those cars derailed. Three of the derailed cars rolled down an embankment, and one of them started to leak a liquid that was later confirmed to be a non-hazardous industrial fertilizer. It is still not known how much liquid escaped the 20,000-gallon tank.
Hazmat crews were forced to work quickly in order to stop the leaking liquid from running into the nearby storm water drains. A perimeter was established and a temporary dam was constructed to both block and absorb the liquid.
Union Pacific is now responsible for removing the overturned train cars, cleaning up any remaining debris and investigating the cause of the derailment, which has still not been identified. No injuries were reported during this incident.
As a result of the train derailment, several nearby roads were closed on Wednesday night. Both directions of Riverfront Boulevard were shut down to traffic, from Continental Avenue to Commerce Street, and the southbound lanes of the Stemmons Freeway service road were blocked. Operations at local businesses and facilities, including the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, were not impacted.
Roads were closed again early Thursday morning while Union Pacific crews worked on the three derailed train cars. Crews positioned themselves along Stemmons Freeway, closing the highway in both directions between Woodall Rogers Freeway and Commerce Street. These closures were not expected to impact the annual Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas on Thanksgiving morning, but runners were advised to seek an alternate route in getting to the event.