Deadly Truck Crash Causes Smoky Portland Railroad Yard Fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -
Firefighters mop up after a semitrailer truck crashed into railroad cars causing a fire near the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Ore., on  Sunday. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Firefighters mop up after a semitrailer truck crashed into railroad cars causing a fire near the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Ore., on Sunday. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

A semitrailer truck crashed on a roadway near a Portland railroad yard, sparking a railcar fire that sent up plumes of black smoke that were visible for miles.

The truck driver was killed, Portland police said.

Black smoke billows over the Willamette River in Portland, Or., near the St. Johns Bridge. (Stephanie Yao Long/The Oregonian via AP)
Black smoke billows over the Willamette River in Portland, Or., near the St. Johns Bridge. (Stephanie Yao Long/The Oregonian via AP)

Firefighters were called about 8:45 a.m. Sunday to the industrial area along U.S. 30 just south of the iconic St. Johns Bridge on the Willamette River.

Nearby businesses were evacuated, the highway was closed and a half-marathon race in the area was canceled, as crews responded to the blaze.

Crews mop up after Sunday's fire. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Crews mop up after Sunday’s fire. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Portland Fire spokesman Terry Foster said the fire happened when a semitrailer truck crashed, causing fuel to leak underneath the parked train cars. The truck was carrying some sort of fuel product.

Foster said eight train cars containing asphalt were damaged, one severely.

The railway’s main lines were not impacted, BNSF spokesman Gus Melanos said.