Residents of Denair heard a freight train coming into town, as usual. But the massive rumbling that shook the walls and could be felt through the ground was unusual.
A freight train derailed in Denair at around 4:56 p.m., according to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Bejaran. The train came off the tracks around the intersection of North Santa Fe Avenue and East Zeering Road.
Bejaran reported that several public and law enforcement agencies responded to a call of a derailed train. Multiple cargo containers were found to be thrown off the track.
No hazardous materials were involved and no injuries occurred during the train wreck.
While people were asked to go back inside their homes and stay inside by first responders, the scene became flooded with onlookers taking pictures and videos.
Denair Self Storage, located right alongside the railroad and south of East Zeering Road, found a train crashed into their storage yard. Owner Robert Fernandes, of Turlock, was on site to assess the damage. No employees were at the storage facility when the train ripped through the business, however, a groundskeeper was just there cleaning just 3 ½ hours prior.
Other train wreck sightings that shocked people as nobody was injured were pieces of the train, such as big heavy wheels, found across Santa Fe Avenue in a vacant field.
"No cause has been determined," said Bejaran.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company was on scene and is the primary agency in the investigation of the incident.
Bejaran said that he estimates that BNSF will need a couple of days to investigate the scene.
“We’re looking at least a couple days for the railroad to be blocked,” said Bejaran.
The Santa Fe railroad crossings between East Monte Vista Avenue and East Keyes Road would be closed during the investigation.
Derailed Train Crashed Into Denair Self Storage. 06-02-13
Photo: Robert Fernandes