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article imageLast fuselage to be lifted from Montana river after derailment

By Nathan Salant     Jul 8, 2014 in Travel
Alberton - The last of three Boeing 737 fuselages that toppled into a Montana river after a train derailment was expected to be recovered Tuesday.
Salvage workers were successful in removing fuselages from the Clark Fork River near Rivulet on Sunday and Monday as they worked to repair damage and get the BNSF Railway Co. line to Washington state reopened.
The derailment interruped shipments from a critical Boeing supplier in Kansas to its assembly plants in Renton and Everett, Wash., according to the Reuters news service.
Nineteen cars of the 90-car train derailed but only three of the six 737 fuselages tumbled down an embankment and into the river.
The train also was carrying 777 and 747 parts to the facilities.
Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it was still assessing damage from the derailment but that the aircraft parts appeared to be unharmed.
A Boeing executive told Reuters that the derailment was not expected to slow 737 production, at least immediately.
"For now, there is no change in our standard operating procedure," said Beverly Wyse, a Boeing vice president, in a memo to employees, Reuters said.
Production work on components for the six 737s involved in the derailment would continue "without any impact," Wyse said, but the parts would be stored if necessary.
Future shipments from affected supplier, Spirit Aerosystems of Wichita, are not expected to be affected because alternative rail routes were available, Wyse said.
"We are confident that, working together, we will overcome whatever challenges may be presented," Spirit said in a written statement after the derailment.
BNSF said it has a northern route that remains open, Reuters said.
Lynda Frost of Montana Rail Link, which operates the track involved in the derailment, said the line would be fully reopened after the last fuselage was removed.
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