UPDATE: Fuselages may be in Montana river until Tuesday

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Boeing is deciding what to do with six newly manufactured commercial airplane bodies that fell off a train in a derailment in western Montana, including three that slid down a steep riverbank.

The fuselages were built by Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas. Boeing spokeswoman Dina Weiss said Monday experts from Boeing and Spirit are at the site.

She said in a statement some Boeing 777 and 747 airplane parts appear undamaged after Thursday's derailment and will be shipped to the company's Everett, Washington, assembly plant.

The derailment sent three 737 fuselages down an embankment of the Clark Fork River and knocked three others from the train.

Crews are working to hoist the fuselages from the river about 50 miles west of Missoula.


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Removing three Boeing 737 fuselages from the Clark Fork River in western Montana following a train derailment could take until Tuesday.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost says progress at the site on Sunday is slow as a crew of 50 with eight heavy equipment machines worked in conjunction on the steep bank.

No one was injured when 19 cars from a westbound train derailed Thursday about 10 miles west of Alberton. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

The train carried six fuselages. Three others also fell off but stayed on land.

Boeing says it has experts at the scene to assess the damage.

The fuselages were traveling from a Spirit AeroSystems plant in Wichita, Kansas, to a Boeing facility in Renton, Washington, to be assembled into airliners.


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Crews on Sunday will attempt to remove three Boeing 737 fuselages that tumbled down a steep bank and into the Clark Fork River in western Montana after a train derailed.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Saturday that it's unclear the type of challenge involved because it's the first time the company has faced such a task.

No one was injured when 19 cars from a westbound train derailed Thursday about 10 miles west of Alberton. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

The train carried six fuselages. Three others also fell off but stayed on land. Frost says Boeing has had workers at the scene assessing the damage.

The fuselages were headed to Renton, Washington, to be assembled into completed airliners.


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A train carrying Boeing 737 fuselages derailed in Montana, tossing the plane bodies into a nearby river.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost said that no one was injured when 19 cars from a train derailed at about 4 p.m. on Thursday about 10 miles west of Alberton.

The train was traveling westbound from Kansas City, Kansas to Renton, Washington, where the 737 is built. The fuselage is built at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita.

Three cars, which were carrying mostly aircraft parts with some soybeans and denatured alcohol, ended up on the water.

Wildlife workers closed the Alberton Gorge portion of the river between St. John's and Tarkio Fishing Access Sites to safely remove the debris.

KTMF, Missoula, contributed to this report.


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