I-25 closed after fatal train derailment north of Pueblo

Colorado State Patrol
A train carrying coal derailed October 15, 2023, spilling coal onto I-25 and crushing a semi truck.

Updated at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, October 16, 2023

Interstate 25 is closed indefinitely in both directions just north of Pueblo after a BNSF Railway train carrying coal derailed Sunday afternoon, spilling its freight onto the highway. One semi-truck driver was killed in the crash, according to the Associated Press.

Footage from CSP shows over a dozen train cars that derailed near I-25 milepost 106, with coal spilled onto the roadway. A photo released by the agency also shows a bridge that allowed trains to pass over I-25 completely collapsed, crushing a semi-truck.

CSP Master Trooper Gary Cutler said it isn’t clear whether the train derailed due to the bridge collapse, or if the bridge collapse was caused by the derailment. 

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson told CPR News that they are “aware and monitoring the situation.” The agency added that it is investigating the derailment.

It is unclear when I-25 will reopen. Cutler said BNSF is sending heavy equipment to aid with the cleanup, but it isn’t expected to arrive until late Sunday evening. 

Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area. Law enforcement officials have detoured southbound motorists to exit 135 to Highway 115, then back to I-25. Northbound travelers are being routed to Highway 50 to Highway 115, and then back to I-25.  

This is the second coal train derailment in as many months in Colorado. Last month, a Union Pacific train carrying coal derailed in Bennett, just north of Interstate 70.