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BNSF caboose derails near Cherry Point in Whatcom County

The caboose of a BNSF train hauling 20 cars of petroleum coke product partially derailed Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 19, near Cherry Point in Whatcom County.

No product spilled, no one was injured, and no hazardous materials were involved, said Gus Melonas, BNSF spokesman.

The train, operated by a three-person crew, was headed for the Elliot Yard switching area just south of Aldergrove Road and west of Kickerville when the caboose partially derailed, according to Melonas.

The train was going about 5 mph, and the derailment didn’t impact the main line, so BNSF waited until 7 a.m. Thursday to put the caboose back on the rails, Melonas said.

BNSF is investigating what may have caused the derailment, Melonas said.

Petroleum coke, or petcoke, is a product of the refining process, mostly made of carbon, and resembles coal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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