A Burlington Northern Railroad train derailed into the Kootenai River Wednesday night. Crew members had to be rescued from the train in the water.
The Boundary County Sheriff’s Office received a call about the derailment around 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 1. The caller reported the front engine of the train was in the river and several crew members had been trapped inside.
According to the Kootenai Valley Times, the two-man crew from Spokane crawled out of the front engine and sat on top of it while awaiting rescuers. The remaining 113 cars, seven of which contained hazardous materials, stayed upright, according to the article.
Numerous local agencies sent crews to the scene, including the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office, Boundary County Search and Rescue, Boundary County Emergency Management, Boundary Ambulance, multiple fire agencies and Idaho State Police.
Crews could only get to the scene through the water, according to the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies eventually rescued the stranded crew members via boat. They were taken to the hospital.
The Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that precautions were being taken to address any hazardous material that was leaked into the river as a result of the derailment.
As of Thursday morning the damage to the train was unknown.
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