Over 50 rail cars blown over after storm in east Brown County

WILLIS, Kan. (AP) — Crews are using heavy equipment to move 52 empty coal cars away from tracks in northeast Kansas after they were derailed by high wind amid powerful storms.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis tells KNZA-FM (http://bit.ly/1tINaSF ) no one was injured when the cars were toppled around 12:05 a.m. Wednesday in the Brown County community of Willis.

The 134-car coal train was bound from Wyoming to Arkansas and stopped because of the extreme weather.

Davis said a tornado warning had been issued, and the train’s emergency technology alerted the crew that wind gusts were high enough to put the cars at risk of derailing.

Davis also said the track escaped damage because the wind simply pushed the 52 cars onto their sides.

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The line for train traffic was back open at noon Wednesday after severe weather caused 52 cars to derail in the Brown County area.

At 12:05 Wednesday morning, a Union Pacific train going from Arkansas to Wyoming with 135 empty coal cars was stopped because of a tornado warning in the Brown County area.

Mark Davis from Union Pacific tells Kansas First News while the train was stopped, the crew reported the emergency air brakes were applied indicating a derailment.

UP says after the storm cleared, they checked the train and discovered 52 cars had been blown over.

There are no injuries or track damage reported and crews are working to move the railcars from the track area.

There is no estimate at this time when the line will be reopen.

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