Train derails downtown, threatens July 4 fireworks

Downtown train derails

At least three train cars derailed after a flaw in a new set of tracks gave way. 

According to port workers on the scene, moments after the track gave way about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4, three grain cars halfway through a lengthy train jumped their tracks and ended up on their sides behind the Beaumont Civic Center. 

"The track gave way," said port worker Jimmy Antilley. "The track opened up. When you've got 200 ton of cars, you got one mistake in that track, brother, it will find it. Every time." 

Antilley, a supervisor for port train crews working to clean up the mess, said the extra trains will be cleared in time for July 4 fireworks tonight, but the toppled cars might not be. 

"They'll probably be able to clear up everything where they can do the fireworks, open up the parks," he said. "They'll be able to clear most of this out of the way, except for the cars that are actually down. I'm sure they'll just barricade those off." 

The toppled grain cars are likely to attract another problem, said Antilley. 

"Those birds will love it," he said. "By dark, you'll have so many birds in here."

Antilley said crews had recently replaced the tracks that gave way and lamented his now crisis-stricken Fourth of July. 

"It's a bad day to be in charge," he said.

No injuries were reported.