CAMERON, TX — There were no injures reported after an 18-wheeler hit the side of a train carrying liquid petroleum Tuesday morning in Milam County, causing a huge explosion.
Milam County Sheriff Chris White said the incident happened around 6:40 a.m. near FM 2095.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said southbound lights and rails were down and activated in the area. One vehicle was stopped and waiting.
According to DPS, the driver of the 18-wheeler was distracted, went around the car, hit the train and deflected the other way away from the car.
According to BNSF Railway, initial reports indicate that 13 out of 110 total cars derailed. As of Tuesday evening, five cars carrying gasoline as well as five cars carrying non-hazardous loads remain on fire.
There was no explosion on impact. However, the train was carrying coal and gasoline in the front, which then caused an explosion, fire and smoke, according to Sheriff White.
The train conductor and driver of the 18-wheeler both survived and escaped injury.
The Cameron Fire Department fire chief said there was a lot of fire when they arrived so they evacuated half a mile radius initially and sent residents to town.
The livestock ran away, according to the fire chief. An adjacent barn and recreational vehicle also sustained fire damage.
The train was carrying a multitude of things, including liquid petroleum, coal, gasoline and sulfuric acid.
According to officials, the sulfuric acid tank was untouched. BNSF showed up to disconnect and move it from the fire.
Officials are working with local authorities to address the derailment. They are making sure that close-by water ways are not affected. At this time they do not see a threat to water ways but are addressing that out of an abundance of caution.
The fire departments are also monitoring the air quality, and have no reports of toxic poisons at the time.
The fire will likely continue and additional smoke is expected as it extinguishes.
AMR, DPS, Rosebud Fire, Cameron Volunteer Fire Department, and the Hearne Fire Department responded to the scene.
The Temple Fire Department, along with BNSF, had crews coming from Houston and Dallas to help extinguish the fire out with foam.
BNSF has established a claims hotline for any impacted residents. The hotline number is 1-866-243-4784.