TULSA, Oklahoma - At least 20 railcars derailed Friday morning in North Tulsa and investigators are still trying to figure out why.

It happened at Dawson and Yale shortly before 2 a.m. when a train apparently ran into the back of some cars that had come uncoupled from another train.

Crews are now using heavy equipment to clean up the debris left from the derailment, including the rail cars.

Tulsa Fire Department Captain Stan May said it appears most of the rail cars were carrying new automobiles. Some of the rail cars were tankers that had syrup residue from a load they had been carrying.

The city of Tulsa helped the BNSF rail company contain a diesel fuel leak, but May said none of the cars was carrying any hazardous materials.

The diesel fuel was coming from a train engine, and the fire department says it did get into a nearby creek.

A spokesperson from BNSF railway said it is considered a major derailment and the company sent a team of investigators to the scene. They plan to hold a news conference at the scene.

The diesel fuel leak "poses no threat to the community," the spokesperson said.

City crews worked with BNSF and remediation crews to make sure it didn't get any worse. 

May said the engineer and others on the train were able to get off before the collision, so there were no injuries.

For now, these crossings are closed:

  • North Yale at Dawson
  • North Kingston between Reeding and Tecumseh
  • North Sheridan at Tecumseh

We don't know how long this will take to clean up, but May estimated it would take at least 24 hours.