Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Sept. 28

BNSF press releases from the accident of October 31

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway did send out two press releases the day after the accident of Oct. 31. Both the releases were put on the "AP wire." Most large newspapers, radio and TV stations have access to the AP wire, but it is an expensive luxury for a small weekly that concentrates on local news. The WInslow Mail does not access the AP wire and we did not get the press releases until Nov. 16.

In fact, the BNSF did not hear from the Winslow Mail until Nov. 8 and did not speak to anyone at the Winslow Mail until Nov. 10 when the Mail called again and happened to find the press relations officer in the office. The Director of Public Affairs explained to us that she "spent countless hours on the phone fielding telephone calls from reporters across the country. We also released by phone the names of the individual fatally injured in the accident...and the time the track reopened to east and westbound traffic within minutes after it opened."

Following are the entire first press release and any new information contained in the second.

Media Advisory On Arizona Derailment

F1agstaff, AZ November 1 - On Tuesday, October 31, at 6:15 p.m. WT a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train, with an origin in Chicago and a destination to Richmond, CA, struck a westbound BNSF train, with an origination in Alliance, TX and a destination of Los Angeles, CA, near Flagstaff, AZ.

One employee based in Winslow, AZ operating as the engineer of the Chicago to Richmond train is being treated at the Maricopa Burn Unit in Phoenix, AZ. This employee is currently in guarded condition. The other crewmember remains missing. The two crew members of the lead train based in Needles, CA, was treated at an area hospital and released.

Them were no hazardous materials released. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is cooperating with local authorities as well as the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Railroad Administration and the Department of Public Safety as we move forward with this investigation. Both westbound and eastbound train traffic remains closed.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, BNSF operates one of the largest rail networks in North America, with 33,500 route miles of track covering 28 states and two Canadian provinces.

Media Advisory on Arizona Derailment 3:00 MST November I

Flagstaff, Arizona, November 1 - At 6:35 a.m. on November 1st, local fire authorities in Bellemont, AZ extinguished the fire on the three locomotives.

Approximately 18 Bellemont residents, who were evacuated, were able to return to their homes this morning after authorities determined that there were no hazardous materials compromised.

At 9:00 a.m. MST today, work crews began clearing the derailed equipment in order to begin restoring the track for reopening early Thursday morning, November 2nd.

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