For immediate release: June 4, 2016 7:30 p.m
A Union Pacific train derailed mid-day on June 3 on tracks paralleling Interstate 84 in the town of Mosier, Oregon. Sixteen oil tankers derailed and three caught fire. There were no injuries and no structures were lost.
The tank car fire was extinguished at 2:05 a.m. this morning. When the rail cars are sufficiently cooled, oil will be offloaded from the remaining railcars to tank trucks. Operations are now focused on removing rail cars from the site.
Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputies evacuated residents in an area about one quarter mile around the incident. The evacuation remains in effect. Wasco County deputies are patrolling the evacuated area to protect evacuated properties.
Today investigators discovered that the Mosier waste water treatment plant and sewer lines are non-operational as a result of damage from the train derailment. Residents will be advised of steps that need to be taken while these systems are repaired.
The Red Cross evacuation center at the Dry Hollow Grade School is now closed. Evacuated residents needing assistance should contact the Union Pacific Claim Center located across from the Mosier Market or call the claim center at 877-877-2567, option 6.
A health hotline has also been set up. Residents with health questions can talk to a health expert at 888-623-3120.
A boil water order is currently in place for the Mosier community as a precautionary measure in the event an untested well is used for fire suppression.
Water and air monitoring is being conducted. Early this morning, a light sheen of oil was observed about six feet offshore in the Columbia River at the mouth of Rock Creek. Approximately 1000 feet of containment boom was used to contain the sheen. No additional sheen was observed for the remainder of the day. Environmental crews are working to identify and control the source of the sheen.
The containment boom placed this morning was in addition to three lines of sorbent booms placed across Rock Creek and the mouth of the creek in the Columbia River by the Union Pacific Railroad to protect these waterways during response operations.
Federal, state, tribal and local authorities have established a command center near the scene to coordinate response, cleanup and investigation into what happened.
Interstate 84 reopened for traffic at 11 p.m. on Friday night. The Mosier exit remains closed until further notice to allow movement of emergency response vehicles and operations.
Media and citizen questions can be emailed to MosierMP70@gmail.com.