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Union Pacific: Cleanup of Weber Canyon derailment could stretch through weekend

U.S. 89 » Debris removal forced closure of one of highway’s lanes.

By Bob Mims

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 09 2014 12:36 pm • Last Updated Jan 09 2014 10:01 pm

It could be as late as early next week before Union Pacific crews complete removing a locomotive and eight freight cars along with other debris and wreckage from the site of a Weber Canyon derailment.

"It looks like we will be working on the cleanup for several days," UP spokesman Aaron Hunt said Thursday.

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The effort, being conducted by the railroad’s accident scene mitigation specialists, also includes removing tons of spilled grain and cleanup of diesel fuel that spilled from the locomotive when it and the cars tumbled off the tracks after being rear-ended by a second UP freight train on Wednesday morning near Mountain Green.

The cause of the collision remained under investigation. Hunt said that railroad officials were looking at numerous possible factors, including the snowy, foggy weather reported at the time of the crash.

"We have not determined a cause [for the accident] at this time," he said Thursday, noting that determination, too, could take several more days.

Both trains reportedly were en route to California from the Midwest when they crashed near the mouth of Weber Canyon.

Three members of the first train’s crew suffered minor leg injuries, UP confirmed.

The collision spread wreckage and debris spread over nearby U.S. 89, which kept one westbound lane of the highway closed until Thursday afternoon.


Twitter: @remims

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