Often the subject of disaster movies, the terror of a railroad accident became all too real in North Tulsa on Dec. 13, when several rail cars detached from the rest of a train belonging to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, or BNSF. The line of runaway cars, 57 in all, crashed into another train that was stopped on the tracks.
The railroad company and the FBI are offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who can provide valuable information regarding the accident. It is believed that someone might have intentionally tampered with the trains. Apparently, someone removed the mechanisms used to couple the train cars, and someone might have also sabotaged or vandalized the train's air brakes.
The accident reportedly caused some fuel to spill into a creek, and firefighters responded to the scene. Local residents said they heard a boom when the collision occurred, and a spokesperson for BNSF Railway said the crash destroyed one of the train locomotives.
Luckily, the engineer and conductor on the train that was struck recognized warning signals, and the workers were able to escape before the collision. Clearly, the damage could have been much worse.
Train accidents may be rarer than car or truck crashes, but the size, weight and velocity of trains make them extremely dangerous when things go awry. Train passengers or motorists who have been injured in a train accident should be aware of their right to pursue compensation for damages.
Sometimes reckless or negligent behavior leads to such accidents, and people who suffer as a consequence should not have to shoulder the financial burdens that can come with serious injuries.
Source: News 9, "BNSF Offers $100K Reward In Tulsa Train Derailment," Ashlei King, Dec. 13, 2013