Looking like salmon migrating upstream, the fuselages of several unfinished Boeing jets were being “fished out” of the Clark Fork River near Missoula today after a cargo train derailed in the mountains of Montana.
For unknown reasons, the train carrying the fuselages of 737s, 777s, and 747s jumped the track about ten miles west of Alberton yesterday. Investigators were on scene soon after the accident to determine the cause and the damage. Initial reports indicate there were no personal injuries.
It is unknown if any of the fuselages were destined for modification for military aircraft.
KOMO News, Seattle, reported more than 13 of the rail cars were carrying freight including the aircraft parts, denatured alcohol, and soybeans. Other than the huge, green fuselages, no other cargo was lost. Authorities said there was no contamination to the Clark Fork River.
Crews were on the scene all day working to repair the damaged track. The line was expected to be operational by the end of Saturday.
The point of origin for the fuselages was not mentioned, but the 737 fuselages were bound for the Boeing plant in Renton, Wash.
The Boeing production plant in North Charleston makes and ships mid and aft sections of the Dreamliner 787, exclusively, so the cargo on the derailed train did not originate in South Carolina. Production parts from South Carolina are typically transported on the modified 747 Dreamlifter, piloted by contracted pilots.
Comments left on the KOMO News page varied from comedy to corporate bashing. Read them here on the original KOMO News article.
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