Monday, July 07, 2014

First of 3 fuselages removed from derailment site

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Boeing is deciding what to do with six new commercial airplane bodies that fell off a train in western Montana, including three that slid down a steep riverbank, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

Experts from Boeing Co. and Spirit AeroSystems, which built the fuselages, are at the site of Thursday's derailment on the Clark Fork River about 50 miles west of Missoula, Boeing spokeswoman Dina Weiss said in a statement.

"Once we have completed our assessment of damages and determined our next course of action, we will decide what to do with the fuselages," she said.

She said other Boeing 777 and 747 airplane parts on some of the 19 cars that went off the tracks appear undamaged and will be shipped to the company's Everett, Washington, assembly plant.

Read more and photo gallery:

Montana Rail Link crews on Sunday began cleaning up debris from an embankment below the site of last week’s train derailment near Fish Creek, including three aircraft fuselages that went into the Clark Fork River.

MRL had cleared the area around the tracks and reopened the rail line to train traffic Saturday.

Company spokeswoman Lynda Frost said work started about 7 a.m. Sunday to pull the Boeing Co. 737 fuselages and train cars out of the water and up the embankment. MRL is using eight pieces of heavy machinery to pull the fuselages up the hill with cables.

The cleanup, originally expected to be completed by the end of Sunday or early Monday, will likely continue through Tuesday, Frost said.

“It’s taking longer than we had originally anticipated,” she said.

Read more:  Work begins to remove Boeing fuselages from Clark Fork River

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