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Dec 19, 2012 3:57 PM

Mudslide derails train in Washington state

(CNN) - Stormy weather is being blamed for a major mudslide in Washington state that took out a freight train.

A longshoreman was working near the slope Monday when he heard the ground moving, so he picked up his camera.

After hours of hearing rumblings from the rain-soaked bank above the tracks, longshoreman John Hill started rolling.

"I can't believe this is actually happening," Hill says.

The 75-foot wide slide slammed into a moving Burlington, Northern Santa Fe freight train near the port of Everett, derailing and crunching cars on the tracks.

"It just came down and took out that rail," Hill says. As containers crumbled, hill suddenly realized he could be in their perilous path.

"I thought the rest of the rail cars were gonna pile up and come through the fence and get me, so I was trying to get out of the car, and everything just came to a stop," Hill says.

Crews worked through the night trying to clear the massive mess of metal and mud off tracks. They hope to have freight trains back on these tracks, but passenger cars have longer to wait. Amtrak and the sounder train must wait 48 hours to make sure the scene is safe. The Northbend man who captured the slide on camera summed up what he saw in two words: "Holy Sh**!"

The train was carrying soup, frozen meat and disinfectant used in cleaning supplies and fertilizer.
There were no injuries.

Passenger trains will not be allowed to operate in the area until at least (Wednesday while crews clear the scene.


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