Investigators survey damage at railcar facility, clarify that it wasn’t an explosion

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ATCHISON COUNTY, Kan. – No signs of criminal activity. That was the ruling made Friday by the Kansas State Fire Marshal at the scene of Thursday’s explosion that's now being called an "overpressure" at a railcar facility near Atchison, at 59 and 258th in Cummings.

Atchison County Sheriff Office Jack Laurie said the fire marshal’s office filled him in on the investigation, which is now closed.

“Walking down that scene, it’s hard to believe that everybody did walk out of that area,” Sheriff Laurie said,

He walked around the GBW railcar facility Friday, taking in the results of what happened Thursday.

“The building is very consistent with what I would consider an explosion,” Sheriff Laurie said.

Although FOX 4 reported what we were told was an “explosion,” investigators are now using a different word.

“There was an explosion inside the building, and I was corrected on an explosion as well, as an overpressure is what they called it, explosion in layman’s terms I would say,” Sheriff Laurie said.

He said investigators referred to this as an “over-expansion” of the building. The sheriff described for us what we weren’t allowed to get close enough to see.

“Tin off the building, peeled off the building, the garage door off the tracks, things like that,” he said.

Sheriff Laurie said the state fire marshal's investigation is complete. He couldn’t say for sure which agency, but believes another group who investigates industrial accidents could be coming out in the near future.

The building has been released back to the railcar company, though Sheriff Laurie wasn’t sure when daily operations would go back to normal.

“I thank God for everybody being alive out of that situation. When that call came out, I’m sure there were many of us thinking very bad things at that time,” he said.

There was an OSHA representative on-site Friday morning, but the sheriff isn’t sure exactly who will continue the investigation or when.