BREAKING: Train plummets into Yellowstone River after Montana bridge collapse, officials warn against water usage due to fear of hazardous materials

It had asphalt and "a second substance that officials are working to confirm." 


A bridge collapsed Saturday morning into the Yellowstone River in Montana, causing a freight train to derail into the river and spill chemicals into the river. Montana residents were immediately warned to conserve water. 

The local sheriff's office said it initially feared that the train had been carrying oil and petroleum but has since determined that it had asphalt and "a second substance that officials are working to confirm." 

According to the Associated Press, one of a reporter on-site saw a yellow substance coming out from some of the tanks. Stillwater County Chief of emergency services David Stamey said there was no immediate danger for personnel on site, and that they had shut down the drinking water intakes downstream.  

Four of the derailed railcars contained molten sulfur, according to KC Williams, the director of Emergency Management for Yellowstone County. 

Andy Garland, a spokesman for the Montana Rail Link, reportedly stated that numerous tanks are at least partially underwater at the Stillwater Country river, located around 40 miles east of Billings. He added that there are no injuries following the crash. 

Montana Rail Link spokesman Andy Garland said in a statement, “We are committed to addressing any potential impacts to the area as a result of this incident and working to understand the reasons behind the accident.”

Authorities report that all the train crew is safe, with no injuries. The cause of the bridge collapse is still under investigation and officials with the Federal Railroad Administration were on site, and the Montana Disaster Emergency Services was notified. 

The derailment is located in a remote part of the Yellowstone River Valley, near the town of Columbus. The water in the river flows away from the national park located 110 miles southwest of the incident. 

This comes just two days after the National Transportation Safety Board began its investigative hearing in regard to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio on Feb. 3. According to NBC News, investigators are looking into the decision to burn five train cars causing carcinogenic chemicals into the air. 

The group also noted that the train was deemed to need repairs twice before the day an overheated wheel bearing caused it to derail. 

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has said that the state is keeping watch over the situtation.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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