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Freight train derails in western Montana

Around 25 cars derailed in the Sunday incident, some carrying Coors Light and Blue Moon beer products. The cause was not immediately clear.
Authorities say about 25 train cars derailed.
Products spilled out of at least one rail car in the derailment, which involved around 25 cars Sunday, officials said.Daffney Clairmont / AP

A freight train derailed near Paradise, Montana, on Sunday in the latest of a string of rail incidents in the U.S., officials said.

About 25 cars derailed at around 9 a.m., the Plains-Paradise Rural Fire District said in a statement

The fire department said there was “no current threat to public safety and no hazardous materials being released.” 

In photos, some of the cars could be seen falling into a river, with products spilling out.

The fire department said the rail cars that reached the river either were empty or were carrying Coors Light and Blue Moon beer products. It said the products were “secured in the derailment area” and were not “floating down the river.” 

Guests staying at waterfront cabins near the derailment were evacuated as a precaution, the fire department said.

Montana Rail Link said the train had been traveling westbound. It said there were "no injuries, no risk to public safety and no Hazmat release."

 "The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation with MRL personnel and first responders," it said.

The rail company said it was "committed to addressing any impacts to the area as a result of this accident, prioritizing the safety of our employees and the public, and understanding the reasons for this incident.”

The train went off the tracks after a series of derailments in the U.S., including the derailment in February of a Norfolk Southern Railway train in Ohio, which prompted widespread concern after toxic chemicals were released into the area to avoid a possible explosion.

The incident sparked major backlash in East Palestine, including a number of lawsuits alleging that the controlled release of toxic chemicals imperiled the health of residents, with some reporting lingering coughs, chest pain and other symptoms.

The federal government sued Norfolk Southern on Thursday, blaming it for the derailment and the subsequent release of toxic chemicals.

The Justice Department, acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, filed the civil complaint two weeks after the state of Ohio took similar action against the rail company.

Since the derailment Feb. 3, a number of trains have derailed across the country, deepening concerns about rail safety in the U.S.