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Investigation underway after train carrying coal derails in West Allis

NOW: Investigation underway after train carrying coal derails in West Allis


Greenfield Avenue is still closed Friday morning in both directions at 105th Street as crews continue to clean up after a coal train derailed around 6:00 PM Thursday near 106th and Greenfield in West Allis. Union Pacific expects at least one lane of the road to be open by 5:00 PM Friday.

Neighbors say they were eating dinner and heard a loud screech and crash.

The Union Pacific Train is a mile and a half long and 20 of the cars went off the tracks. The cars were carrying coal and police say there isn't any danger from the material but people need to steer clear.

Five rail cars were removed from the bridge, but crews are still removing the coal. 

Investigators are now working to figure out why this happened which could take several days.

Power was knocked out to several homes and businesses in the area.

"Everything in the area is safe with one exception. We have had an issue with citizens attempting to get a close look at the trains. Some have been up on the tracks, some have been inside the trains, and trains, as you can clearly see, are not stable so the police and fire departments will be here for the foreseeable future, safeguarding the area," said Chief Patrick Mitchell with the West Allis Police Department. 

No one was injured. Two people were on board at the time but they're okay.

Union Pacific tells CBS 58 the rail line was inspected just hours prior to the derailment and the bridge was inspected in May. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

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