TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Many people who live in Downtown Topeka said they didn’t know the train cars fell over just a couple blocks away from their homes.
The incident all happened as the train was approaching their Topeka rail yard, just south of the Kansas River. All of this had workers nearby worried once the train cars derailed.
“The train just kind of rolled over like a domino effect,” bystander, David Juedes said. “They saw it lean in and then it slowly all came crashing over.”
The tracks are owned by Union Pacific Railroad. Luckily, there were only car parts inside. A railroad spokesman, with Union Pacific said, trains on the tracks sometimes carry hazardous chemicals. If there were anything more serious inside, the Topeka Fire Marshal, Michael Martin said he and his team would be called to the scene.
“We’d look at our guide books,” Martin said. “And that gives us parameters. We need so much area that would be a hot zone where we know it’s an area that could be immediately dangerous to life and health.”
Martin said their plan of action could include evacuations close to the incident, but could also impact the entire city depending on what kind of chemical leaks out.
Part of the investigations involves crews inspecting the bridge, taking a look at the train’s brakes and seeing how fast it was going. A Union Pacific said the investigation should wrap up by Friday.