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Federal officials are still investigating the cause of a Canadian Pacific derailment on Friday, Jan. 3, in LeClaire, Iowa. However, all one has to do is listen to the words of a crew member to get a pretty good feeling of what happened. Twenty-four rail cars went off the tracks and landed on a parking lot. Crews were still picking up the pieces on Jan. 6.
Radio communication between a crew member and Canadian Pacific dispatch indicate a broken rail may be the culprit of the accident. A conductor or engineer on Canadian Pacific 9716 North told dispatch the train hit a broken rail just past a switch in LeClaire. When the dispatcher asked again what was said the train was more specific, saying the locomotive went over a 2-ft piece of broken rail and that a “bunch of the train is missing.”
According to further communication, the derailment also cause downed power lines and there was a rail car on the ground leaking a hazardous material. No injuries were reported.
The Federal Railroad Administration was on the scene to gather evidence and information regarding the derailment.
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