November 1, 2014

Train cars derail near casino on Worth Road

James Kuch
Crews work to put train cars back on the rails near the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino on Friday, July 15.
By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The cause of seven train cars coming of the track near the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino on Worth Road is unknown at this time.

The cars belonging to a train owned by the Lake State Railway came off the tracks at around 12:30 p.m. Friday, July 15, Standish Area Fire Authority Fire Chief Mitch Oliver said.

Oliver said he believes the derailment happened because of a combination of factors, including the condition of the rails where the cars came off the track.

“I believe that the rails in that location are in a deteriorating state,” he said.

Oliver said of the seven cars that came off the track, six were empty. Four cars were placed back on the rails Friday evening but crews continued to get three additional cars back in the rails Monday.

“It was a long train and the front cars were carrying limestone and cement,” he said. “I think the weight difference might have also played a role.”

Worth Road was closed from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. while the work crew put the cars back on the tracks, Oliver said.

Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe Public Relations Director Frank Cloutier said the casino took steps to ensure the safety of its customers and workers.

“We were contacted immediately just in case there were chemicals aboard the train,” he said. “We have an emergency response system to shut down power to the casino just in case.”

Cloutier said traffic to and from the casino was rerouted east to Stuman Road and McLarty Road.

Oliver said the fire authority was joined on the scene by a work crew from Lake State Railway, the Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal Police, and the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department.

An attempt to contact a representative of Lake State Railway was unsuccessful.

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