LAWRENCE, Kan. — Trains are once again rolling through a part of Douglas County, Kansas which until recently was buried under the rubble of a 30-car train derailment.
The clean-up is still far from over with heavy equipment continuing to move coal and twisted steel from the crash site on Monday.
Lawrence police report no one was hurt in the derailment which happened on Friday evening. It is also unclear what caused it, with Union Pacific still investigating the incident for their official report.
Equipment grabbed pieces of train cars from the field West of 1450 Road Monday afternoon, north of Interstate 70. From above, the process is easy to understand with dark coal-stained areas separating machinery from twisted metal.
It looks downright organized compared to a video from shared by Lawrence police showing the immediate aftermath of the derailment with cars crumpled like an accordion spilling a hills-worth of coal.
Union Pacific reports that both lines affected in the derailment reopened within 30 hours of the derailment and that safety checks continue.
Janet Burnett Huchingson lives nearby and calls this event notable during her long history here.
“I’m fifth generation Lawrence,” she said.
“I was thinking what are they going to do because I live on a farm up the road and I could hear those trains night and day,” Burnett Huchingson said.
“I guess the first thing I saw were the aerial shots were the cars and the coal were all on the tracks. And I was thinking how in the world are they going to clean this up?” Burnett Huchingson said.
Cleanup was moving quickly and consistently but as of Monday evening there was still a lot to haul away.
The final report on this situation that needs to be filed with the Federal Railroad Administration could take six months to a year to be completed.
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