At about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Montana Rail Link reported that a pipeline component malfunctioned at the Missoula rail yard, spilling approximately 7,000 gallons of diesel on the ground.

Spokesman Jim Lewis said MRL officials shut down the pipeline and repaired the break as soon as it was detected. MRL notified Missoula Emergency Services, who, following their protocol, then notified the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

As of midnight, nearly 2,600 gallons of the spilled fuel had been recovered with the assistance of two contractors who specialize in environmental remediation. So far, over 1,100 yards of contaminated soil have been removed.

Rail Link says they will continue to monitor the situation and work with the DEQ as they recover the spilled fuel and clean-up the rail yard. An investigation as to why the pipeline malfunctioned is underway.