BNSF Columbia River bridge reopens after fire

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PORTLAND, Ore. — BNSF Railway’s bridge across the Columbia River was reopened about 5:30 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, after a late-morning fire closed the bridge to all traffic, TV station KOIN reports.

The Oregonian newspaper quoted a Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman as saying the fire was started by workers using acetylene torches on the bridge. It was reported about 11 a.m. and burned for about 45 minutes before being extinguished by a fire boat. Thick black smoke from the fire was visible over a large portion of the Portland area.

The fire disrupted BNSF and Union Pacific freight traffic as well as Amtrak service. The bridge, parallel to the Interstate 5 bridge over the river, is the only rail crossing of the Columbia in the Portland area. A longer closure would have required the rerouting of all rail traffic over BNSF’s bridge in Wishram, Wash., 90 miles to the east.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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