Train Derailment Dumps Coal, Sparks Grass Fire

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(WIBW/KAKE) -- Railroad crews are working to clean up quite a mess after a train derailed in Saline County and lost part of its load. It happened just after 2:30 p.m. Sunday about six miles west of Salina at the intersection of Highway 140 and Cloud Street.

The Union Pacific train was made up of three engines and 109 cars. It was hauling a large amount of coal.

Officials say approximately 25 cars derailed and dumped their loads of coal. Sparks from the derailment started a small grass fire that burned about two acres. No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged.

Investigators say the derailment was likely caused by heat. They believe the prolonged triple-digit temperatures caused the tracks to expand and warp.

Crews are working to clean up the pile of coal. Officials say the train happened to separate at the intersection so vehicle traffic in the area has not been affected.