: Derailed train in Montana spills Coors Light and Blue Moon beer into river

A freight train carrying beer derailed Sunday in northwestern Montana, spilling Coors Light and Blue Moon beer into the Clark Fork River.

The Associated Press reported that about 25 train cars derailed near the town of Paradise, Mont., with no injuries reported. No hazardous materials have been released, according to the Plains-Paradise Rural Fire District.

“The railcars that reached the river were empty or carrying Coors Light and Blue Moon. (This is not floating down the river and is secured in the derailment area),” the Plains-Paradise district wrote in a Facebook post. A single railcar of concern was carrying propane, according to the fire department, which said that car was partially off the tracks but not leaking. “Visual inspection and utilizing a gas meter did not detect any leaks,” the department added.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte was briefed on the incident Sunday morning.

Related: Train derailment in Minnesota thrusts rail safety back into the spotlight

MarketWatch has requested comment from train operator Montana Rail Link.

The Missoula, Mont.–based Montana Rail Link is a Class II regional railroad. The company operates over 900 miles of track in Montana and Idaho and employs nearly 1,200 people, according to its website.

Rail safety has been in the spotlight this year following a spate of derailments. On Feb. 3 a Norfolk Southern Corp.

train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, in an incident that was described as a “PR nightmare” for Norfolk Southern and the rail industry. The derailed cars included 11 tanker cars carrying hazardous materials that subsequently ignited, damaging an additional 12 railcars, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, and set off concerns about the impact on air and water quality and dangers to health in the region. On March 26, a Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.

 train derailed in North Dakota, spilling chemicals, the Associated Press reports. Just days later a BNSF train carrying corn syrup and ethanol derailed near the town of Raymond in Minnesota, with four cars catching fire.

Everstream Analytics, a supply-chain analytics company, has been researching train derailments between 2018 and 2023. Data show that derailments across Class I carriers increased considerably in the U.S. between 2021 and 2022, according to Everstream.

See: East Palestine derailment: Norfolk Southern sued by Justice Department and EPA

A Class I carrier is defined as any carrier earning annual revenue greater than $943.9 million, according to the U.S. government’s Surface Transportation Board.

Last week the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency filed a complaint against Norfolk Southern for unlawful discharge of pollutants and hazardous substances in the East Palestine derailment.


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