Union Pacific Claims Cracked Wheel Caused Derailment

Union Pacific Railroad says a cracked wheel on a freight car caused a derailment north of Baker City, Oregon, on May 29. Cleaning up after the derailment stalled traffic throughout the region for a day and has continued to hamper traffic along U.S. 30 near Haines.

A railroad spokesman says wheels are inspected regularly, but if a crack starts inside a wheel it cannot be detected. Fifteen railroad cars derailed. The train was 136 railroad cars long. One derailed tanker car contained hazardous phosphoric acid residue, which was removed by a hazardous materials team. No hazardous materials were spilled and no injuries were reported.