Fire and explosion with injuries at Atchison, Kansas rail yard

Repost from, St. Joseph, MO
[Editor: original news reports said that the tank car exploded.  Now officials are calling it a fire and “over-pressure” in the building.  Raw news video footage shows fire emerging at the top of a tank car, so it is clear that the tank car was involved.  KSHB Kansas City reported that the building is used to prepare railcar services for painting.  As of today, no one is reporting whether the tank car was a DOT-111, and no one has disclosed the nature of the burning fuel.   – RS]

Explosion near Atchison deemed accident

Two injured employees upgraded to fair condition
By Jeremy Lyons FOX 26 KNPN, December 12, 2014

An explosion at a railroad contracting company just south of Atchison, Kan., has been deemed an accident.

“The fire marshal’s office did do a complete investigation of the building and they have determined there is nothing criminal in the building,” Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie said. “So they have released the building back to GBW, and whether or not any other investigators will be coming in or not, we do not know that at this point.”

The explosion Thursday afternoon at GBW Rail Services, which sent nine employees to the hospital, proved not to be in a rail car, as previously reported by authorities.

The accident occurred inside of the building. However, the contents inside the rail car have not been ruled out as a contributing factor.

“The actual rail car itself did not explode. There was an explosion inside the building and I was corrected on ‘explosion’ as well, as it was an over-pressure is what they called it,” Mr. Laurie said. “The over-pressure meaning that the building expanded to some type.”

The sheriff couldn’t comment on exactly what over-pressurization was and the fire investigators could not be reached for comment.

Two men who were admitted to the University of Kansas Hospital in critical condition were upgraded to fair condition Friday, but their names have not been released.

“There’s a lot of debris, insulation, just a lot of materials inside there,” he said. “When walking out of that scene, it’s hard to believe that everybody actually did walk out of that area.”

All other employees inside the building at the time were accounted for. Most were treated and released.