PUEBLO, Colo. — A semi-trailer truck driver is dead after a train derailed, spewing coal and mangled train cars across Interstate 25, causing a bridge to partially collapse, near Pueblo, Colorado, authorities said.
The truck driver is the only fatality reported in the accident. No other vehicles were involved. No further details about the scene have been released, according to Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Gayle Perez.
The Colorado State Patrol and the county sheriff’s office posted photos and videos showing the the collapsed bridge over the interstate with the semi-truck caught beneath. The posts also show a pileup of train cars, train wheels scattered across the scene, and large amounts of coal covering a portion of the highway. According to State Patrol spokesperson Gary Cutler, law enforcement is not sure why the bridge collapsed.
The National Transportation Safety Board has sent investigators to the site, about 114 miles south of Denver.
The BNSF train carrying coal derailed on a bridge over Interstate 25 just north of Pueblo around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to Kendall Kirkham Sloan, a spokesperson for the Fort Worth, Texas-based freight railroad. There were no reported injuries to the BNSF crew. The cause of the derailment is under investigation, and BNSF personnel were working with responding agencies to clear the incident as safely as possible, Kirkham Sloan said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on social media that he had been in touch with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and had been briefed by the Federal Railroad and Federal Highway administrations on the derailment and collapse. He said officials would be ready to help support a swift return to normal use for the highway and rail routes.
President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit the CS Wind plant, the world’s largest facility for wind tower manufacturing, in Pueblo on Monday, but the visit had to be postponed due to the growing conflict in the Middle East. The visit to the plant will be rescheduled according to the White House.
Pueblo is one of the anchors of Colorado’s sprawling Third Congressional District, which covers more ground than the state of Pennsylvania. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a combative Trump loyalist, won the seat in 2020 and barely held on to it during the 2022 midterms. Boebert has described Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the president’s signature domestic legislation and the source of hundreds of billions of dollars for clean energy incentives, as “a massive failure” that “needs to be repealed.”
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