PORTLAND, Ore. - Federal investigators are blaming a fiery oil train derailment along the Oregon-Washington border on Union Pacific Railroad, saying the company failed to properly maintain its track.
The preliminary findings from the Federal Railroad Administration, showed pictures of broken and missing track bolts that allowed the rails to go out of gauge, allowing the wheels to drop between the rails shortly after noon on June 3 in the Columbia River Gorge.
The wreck spilled 42,000 gallons of crude oil and sparked a massive fire that burned for 14 hours.
The government's findings raise questions about why Union Pacific didn't detect the broken bolts that triggered the accident when they inspected the tracks just before the derailment.
Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg says more advanced brakes could have reduced the number of tank cars that derailed, preventing the one that first burst into flames from being punctured.