Train derailed by 80mph winds as storm sweeps across Oklahoma

BNSF freight train knocked off tracks near town of Fairmount

Bevan Hurley
Saturday 22 July 2023 21:50 BST
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A severe thunderstorm with wind gusts of more than 80 miles per hour (130kph) derailed a freight train near the town of Fairmount, Oklahoma, officials said.

The BNSF train had stopped due to strong winds when 29 rail cars derailed at around 4am on Friday, 100 miles north of Oklahoma City, a company spokesperson told The Associated Press.

There were no reported injuries and no hazardous materials were involved, the spokesperson said. BNSF said that it had crews on site repairing the damage.

After a week of extreme temperatures in Oklahoma, a damaging storm complex arrived on Friday morning, ripping roofs off buildings, bringing down trees and pushing planes around at the Vance Air Force Base in Enid.

In the town of Blackwell, 50 miles northeast of Fairmount, power lines were downed and buildings damaged, KFOR reported.

A spokesman at Vance Air Force Base told The Enid News that officials were assessing the damage to planes that had been shunted around on the tarmac in winds topping 73mph (117kph).

Wind gusts of up to 84mph (135kph) were recorded in nearby Vance, Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post.

Extreme weather events are rising due to the climate crisis. Rising global heat, caused by burning fossil fuels, is driving record-breaking heatwaves around the world this summer including across the southern half of the US.

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