Boeing Still Assessing Damage to Fuselages Dumped by Derailment

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/MCT) -

Boeing Corp. said Monday that it is still assessing the extent of the damage to six 737 narrow-body jet fuselages resulting from a July 3 train derailment near Rivulet, Mont.

The large structural parts for the 777 and 747 wide-body jets that were also on the train have been inspected and appear undamaged, Boeing said.

Investigators from Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems are examining the wreckage. The complete fuselages were built by Spirit in Wichita, Kan., and were en route to the Boeing final assembly plant in Renton.

Three of the six 737 fuselages slid down an embankment toward the Clark Fork River, with two of them going into the water and one stopping just short. At least one other 737 fuselage was broken into two pieces in the train wreck.

Company spokesman Doug Alder said Boeing won’t decide what to do with the fuselages — how best to retrieve them and whether they can be repaired or need to be scrapped — until the damage assessment is complete.

The 747 and 777 assemblies will be shipped to the Boeing final assembly plant in Everett, arriving over the next several days, Alder said.

The cause of the derailment is still not known.