Article updated at 12:19 p.m. Monday, June 20:
Much of the coal that was spilled when about 30 railroad cars derailed north of Lawrence Friday afternoon had been cleaned up as of Sunday evening; however, much wreckage remained at the site.
The cargo cars detached from the train’s engine, spilling tons of coal into a field near East 1450 and North 1900 roads in Douglas County north of Lawrence. There were no injuries reported.
Robynn Tysver, a spokesperson for Union Pacific railroad, said via email Monday that “We continue to clean up the coal that spilled, as well as the damaged cars, which have been removed from the right of way but remain in the area.”
Crews were working to clean up the site well past midnight Saturday. The Lawrence Police Department assisted Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Union Pacific personnel by using drone technology to determine whether there were any hot spots or fires after the derailment, according to a media release Saturday.
“We repaired the tracks and had the first line open about 20 hours after the derailment. We reopened the next line early Sunday morning about 30 hours later,” Tysver said.
The incident was still under investigation Monday, Tysver said. The railroad typically files a report with the Federal Railroad Administration, which will then issue the final report, which can take six months to a year.
Tysver said the railroad “works diligently to prevent derailments and other accidents. We continuously inspect our tracks, locomotives and other equipment and we comply with all federal rules and regulations in working toward ensuring our trains operate safely.”
Here are some photos from the scene as of Sunday evening. For comparison, see this post from Friday.