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Reports detail El Paso train accidents, derailments in recent years

By Leonard Martinez
Published On: Apr 08 2014 12:23:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2014 01:40:06 PM CDT
Train derailment in Canutillo

Courtesy El Paso Fire Dept.

EL PASO, Texas -

The investigation is continuing into the cause of Monday's derailment in Canutillo.

Train accidents/derailments are not unheard of in El Paso County, which includes Canutillo.

According to a Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis from Jan. to Dec. 2013 there were five train accidents in El Paso County -  including one collision, three derailments and one unspecified type of accident. There were no fatalities.

The damage from train derailments in El Paso County have caused $1.4 million in damage from 2008 through 2012, according to a report from the Texas Department of Transportation.

According to the report, which compiled data from January 2008 to December 2012, there were 28 train accidents in El Paso County - 22 were derailments.

Those accidents caused a total of  $1,428,536 in damage, according to the TxDOT study about the freight rail system in the El Paso area and six surrounding counties.

El Paso is one of only nine counties statewide where there's been more than 25 train accidents from 2008 through 2012.

According to the TxDOT report, 43 percent train derailments were caused by defective, damaged or missing rail ties or from the rails being spaced too far apart.

Twenty one percent of the train derailments in the TxDOT report were caused by a so-called human factor, things like not securing equipment, going faster than the speed limit or failing to secure brakes.

The rest of the derailments are caused by miscellanous reasons,  according to the report.

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