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Rail car breaks away from Washington train, travels 16 miles down the tracks

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Authorities in Washington said a rail car broke away from a train and rolled nearly 16 miles on its own before being stopped.

The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office said the empty tank car broke away from a Columbia-Walla Walla Railroad train in Walla Walla and rolled to the Touchet area before being stopped by emergency responders.

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Walla Walla County Undersheriff Joe Klundt, who posted video of the loose rail car to Twitter, said the tank car reached a top speed of about 50 mph while loose, but had slowed to about 3 mph after rolling up a steep hill near Touchet.

Klundt said the reduced speed allowed a responder to climb aboard the car and apply the brake.

The sheriff's office said no one was injured in the incident.

Columbia-Walla Walla Railroad owner Paul Didelius said an investigation is underway into what caused the car to break away from the train.

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