13 train cars derailed near Wallula

WALLULA, Wash. -- We're following a train derailment that happened early Friday morning just south of Wallula Junction.

13 Union Pacific cars jumped the track and ended up near the river.

Crews with Union Pacific scramble to right the overturned rail cars that jumped the track just south of Wallula Junction. Workers got the call around 2:30 Friday morning that 13 cars had derailed.
Luckily, no one was hurt during the crash, but investigators are already hard at work trying to figure out what might have caused it.

"When we have an incident like this, we do a complete investigation, so we're going to be looking at what might have caused this particular incident," says Union Pacific Spokesman Aaron Hunt.

At this point, crews can only speculate. Whether it was driver error, a problem with the rail cars, or a bad spot on the track will come out in the next few days.

"There is a long list of things that could be playing a role there, so we'll be looking at all those variables over the coming days," Hunt added.

Just driving by, you can see the entire track was pretty much pulverized by this derailment and as you can see, the crews are hard at work trying to fix what's left of those derailed cars. At this point, their biggest concern is getting that track up and running again.

The cars, normally used to transport new cars, were all empty. They were heading from Spokane to Hinkle, Oregon.

Some of them fell down the embankment and ended up near the Columbia. As a precaution, they put up a water barrier.

Union Pacific has spent over a billion dollars in Oregon over the last ten years in track improvements.

"We are focused on helping that region remain a leader in trade and exports and we plan to continue to do so. And that's why we're responding to this incident and focused on getting the rail line up and running as quickly as possible," Hunt said over the phone.

The investigation into what caused the wreck is still underway. Spokemen with Union Pacific say they should know exactly what caused the derailment in a few days.