A train and an 18 wheeler collided at a grade crossing near Cameron in Milam County Tuesday morning, triggering a fire and derailment.
The accident occurred at the crossing on FM 2095 about 6:45 a.m.
“There was some hazardous materials a little farther back, so by the grace of God we were saved on that one,” Milam County Sheriff Chris White said.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesperson Amy Casas confirmed the train carrying mixed freight did derail with initial reports indicating that the train was hit by a semi-truck, impacting a car carrying gasoline.
BNSF confirmed that the car that was hit an four others were on fire and that 13 cars out of the 110 car train were derailed.
“BNSF (Railway) showed up pretty quick and disconnected and moved the hazardous cargo out of range of the fire,” White said. “The train was carrying in the front compartments coal and gasoline and so that’s what caused the huge fire and all the smoke.”
There were no injuries to the crew of the train or to the driver of the truck. The crash did cause a house to burn down nearby but everyone got out safely.
“We do have some elderly people that we’ve evacuated from their homes and it does appear that one home has burned that was close to the tracks, but other than that, everybody seems to be safe and good,” White said.
Residents within a half mile radius were evacuated from their homes over concerns about fire and the possibility of hazardous materials.
“There’s no more threat at this point. It’s just put the fire out and clean the mess up,” White said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is also on the scene and will be leading the crash investigation.
Fire units from Cameron and Milano were called to the scene.
Flames and smoke were visible for a considerable distance.
BNSF officials noted that the crossing is equipped with gates and lights.
BNSF has set up a claims hotline for impacted residents who may call 1-866-243-4784 to report damages.
In addition to the Department of Public Safety investigation the railroad is conducting its own.
FM 2095 was closed in the area