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First airplane fuselage pulled from derailment site

Tue., July 8, 2014

MISSOULA – A Montana Rail Link spokeswoman said it took about 12 hours to remove the first of three commercial airplane bodies that fell into the Clark Fork River after a train derailed.

Spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Monday that specialized machines are pulling the 20-ton fuselages attached to 50-ton flatbed cars from the embankment one at a time at a rate of 20 feet per hour.

Frost said the most difficult fuselage to retrieve was removed safely Sunday.

Crews were working on the second fuselage Monday and plan to remove the third by today.

She said crews are attempting to remove the fuselages and their flatbed cars without causing additional damage.

Three other Boeing 737 fuselages fell off the train during Thursday’s derailment 50 miles west of Missoula. Boeing officials are assessing the damage.


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