A train carrying sand derailed near Garfield Tuesday morning (April 8), officials said.
No one was hurt in the incident, according to Ron Sparks, police chief for the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad.
Authorities were called to the scene about 11:30 a.m after 20 cars derailed near U.S. 62 and Roberts Loop north of Garfield, Sparks said. Garfield is in northern Benton County just east of the Pea Ridge National Military Park.
Sparks said the wreck is not a danger the public, because the sand is not a health hazard. The sand is used for masonry work and for fracking.
At this time Sparks said they do not know the cause of the derailment, but are investigating a few things including operator error, an issue with the track or a problem with one of the 45 cars in the train.
“We are assessing the damage and are going to get crews to come in from out of state that have heavy equipment to lift these cars,” he said. “Our crews will be setting the cars back up and will put the wheels back on under the cars to get them back going on the track.”
Sparks said the train was headed to Monett, Missouri to deliver sand. The delivery will be delayed, but Sparks said crews will off-load the sand into other cars to get it to the customers.
People driving through the area said it’s hard to believe no one was hurt.
“I am just amazed by what happened, it blows me away,” said Sue Goldberg.
“I am pretty happy that no one lives here, because if someone did live around here they could have gotten hurt,” said Kaitlyn Goldberg. “It would have been really bad, because they probably would have ended up at the hospital with some broken bones or stitches.”
Authorities said one home is behind where the derailment happened, and have already found a way for that family to get out.