Alaska Railroad spills more fuel

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2000

ANCHORAGE - As much as 300 gallons of unleaded gasoline spilled Wednesday after nine cars from an Alaska Railroad train jumped the tracks near Wasilla, state and railroad officials said.

Five of the derailed cars were 20,000-gallon tankers carrying unleaded gas owned by Williams Alaska Petroleum Co. Four of those cars overturned and slid down a 25-foot embankment, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The derailment occurred shortly before noon about a mile from the intersection of the Parks and Glenn highways. The cause was not yet known, said railroad spokeswoman Wendy Lindskoog.

No one was injured in the incident, but 200 feet of track was damaged, Lindskoog said.

A loose valve on one of the cars was blamed for the leak. The valve was tightened and the car was no longer leaking, she said.

The fuel spill is the third involving the railroad in the past seven months. Just before Christmas, more than 120,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled at Gold Creek near Talkeetna when three locomotives and 15 fuel tank cars derailed. In November, about 12,500 gallons of jet fuel leaked out of two tank cars that went off the track, also near Talkeetna.

The railroad said it has sent response crews to the scene, along with two vacuum trucks and boom. It planned to transfer fuel from the derailed cars to trucks.

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