Work Begins to Hoist Three Boeing 737s from the Clark Fork River
Last Thursday, three Boeing 737 fuselages were sent tumbling into the Clark Fork River near Alberton, Montana, and today…well, they are still there. A train carrying six fuselages in total, along with shipments of soybeans and alcohol, derailed 19 cars on July 3, spilling three airplane bodies into the river and beaching the other three on land. Crews from Montana Rail Link began the tricky process of extracting the soggy fuselages early on Sunday morning, but the work is expected to continue through Tuesday.
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A spokeswoman for the company, Lynda Frost, confirmed that eight pieces of heavy machinery are being used to hoist the fuselages up the steep hill using high strength cables. Expectedly, train traffic on the line had to be halted for about 12 hours on Sunday while the crews set to work on the extraction process.
Amazingly though, if you’re from the area, you can still use that section of the Clark Fork River for whitewater rafting. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) briefly closed the river to recreational activities for about half an hour on Sunday, but it seems boaters will be able to get a few close-up looks at the 737s as they get pulled out over the next couple days.
The 737s were originally in route from a production facility in Wichita, Kansas to a Boeing assembly plant in Renton, Washington. It is unknown whether any of the components will still be usable.
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