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Cause of locomotive fire near Clinton under investigation - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Cause of locomotive fire near Clinton under investigation

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A “mechanical failure” is being blamed for sparking a fire in a locomotive that was hauling a train on 2.11.18. (MTN News photo) A “mechanical failure” is being blamed for sparking a fire in a locomotive that was hauling a train on 2.11.18. (MTN News photo)

MISSOULA – A “mechanical failure” is being blamed for sparking a fire in a locomotive that was hauling a train on Sunday.

Montana Rail Link reports that at around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday a failure occurred on a BNSF locomotive that was being operated by MRL personnel, resulting in unburnt fuel entered the exhaust stack and igniting. 

MRL spokesman Jim Lewis says that the train was stopped “per company incident protocol”. The crew notified MRL’s dispatch office in Missoula, who in turn, notified 911.  

Lewis said in a statement issued Monday that while emergency first responders were heading to the scene of the incident, the train crew moved the locomotive to a safe distance from the train. The fuel shut-off system was then engaged which resulted in the fire being extinguished.  

No injuries occurred and no other cars on the train were damaged, according to Lewis. The locomotive is now being checked out. The cause of the incident, which Lewis says “resulted in minimum disruption to service on MRL’s mainline,” is still under investigation.

The Clinton Rural Fire District and the Missoula Rural Fire District responded to the scene.

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