FBI investigates Washington train derailment

CUSTER, Wash. (KING/NBC News) Several rail cars burst into flames Tuesday morning after a tanker train hauling crude oil derailed in Custer, Washington.

It’s unclear what caused the train cars to derail.

The derailment prompted a joint response, including the FBI, Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission, Washington State Patrol, Whatcom County Emergency Management, and local fire agencies.

The FBI  issued the following statement: “Investigators are on the scene assisting local partners to determine the facts of what happened. At this point, it would be speculative to connect other events with this incident. FBI Seattle encourages anyone with knowledge of the train derailment to contact tips.fbi.gov”

Oil continued to burn in two of the tanker cars Tuesday night, but the flames were under control, according to the Whatcom Sheriff’s office.

A spokesperson for BNSF Railway said two workers were on the train at the time of derailment and the train included around 108 cars. The train was traveling to a refinery in Ferndale.

Two women from Bellingham, Washington were arrested November 28 on charges of a terrorist attack on a railroad facility by allegedly placing a “shunt” on the tracks.  Those arrests have not been linked to the Custer derailment.

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