Twenty-four hours and a reported hundreds of thousands of gallons of water later firefighters continue to battle the fire at the site where two trains collided east of Goodwell Sunday morning.
According to a press release from the City of Guymon, at this time, it’s confirmed that the fire is contained, but water has failed to extinguish it completely. Railroad Firefighters from Ft. Worth, Texas, are expected to extinguish the flames with special foam. After the metal wreckage cools, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board who flew into Guymon Sunday night can expand their investigation and emergency crews can search for three missing crew members. One man was able to jump from a train and survive. The details of what caused the accident are still under investigation at this time.
The collision occurred at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday, one mile east of Goodwell, Oklahoma, in Texas County near US Highway 54 and County Road 24. The westbound train pulled by three locomotives was carrying 80 railroad cars and the eastbound train powered by four locomotives was carrying 108 railroad cars.
Emergency medical crews and the American Red Cross staff and volunteers from the region treated and assisted numerous firefighters and emergency responders at the scene for heat exposure and one firefighter was transported to Memorial Hospital of Texas County for treatment.
A unified command post was established early Sunday by Texas County/City of Guymon Emergency Management, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Union Pacific Railroad, Texas County Sheriff’s Department, and the Guymon Fire Department. At 10 p.m. single command was turned over to Union Pacific.
US Highway 54 was shut down between Guymon and Texhoma at approximately 10 a.m. and was partially opened late Sunday night. The westbound double lane of the divided highway remains closed near the wreckage site, with traffic condensed to two lanes in that area.
Additional agencies assisting in the emergency response efforts included: Goodwell Fire Department, Hooker Fire Department, Yarbrough Fire Department, County Staff, District one – District Attorney’s Task force, Guymon Police Department, Texhoma Police Department, Goodwell Police Department, and Guymon Public School Police.
“Our thoughts are with all family and friends affected by Sunday’s collision. We would like to express our appreciation to our local and area emergency responders from various agencies who risked their own safety- many in full gear in triple digit temperatures- to help contain this fire, and those who aided the crews fighting it. Many of these individuals are volunteers and all responders should be commended for their dedication.”
The City of Guymon would like to remind area residents that this is an ongoing operation and everyone should stay away from the site