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Oil train derailment results in massive explosion

(KATU.COM) – A Union Pacific train towing oil cars derailed and caught fire in the Columbia River Gorge Friday, evacuating schools in the nearby town of Mosier and closing down Interstate 84 between Hood River and The Dalles.

I-84 reopened around 11 p.m.

The Oregon Department of Transportation originally said 11 cars in the 96-car train derailed, but updated that number to 14 cars Saturday morning. Four of the derailed cars caught fire.

The train was hauling oil from Eastport, Idaho, and was headed for Tacoma, Washington. It was carrying Bakken crude oil, a type of oil known to be highly volatile.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, one car is fully engulfed in flames and another one is on fire. From KATU’s Chopper 2, however, it was clear that more than one car was on fire – perhaps as many as four. Another Union Pacific representative, Justin Jacobs, acknowledged several were “aflame” and said oil leaked from at least one car. The company is providing personnel and support to respond to the incident, he said.