- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and railroad officials are investigating who piled rocks in the path of an Amtrak passenger train in western Idaho.

The Empire Builder’s onboard camera shows the 4-foot pile of rocks on the tracks near Rathdrum, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported (https://bit.ly/1eRAhpd ). There were no injuries, but the accident caused about $5,000 in cosmetic damage to the train,

“It’s a malicious thing to do to passengers and the train crews who operate on that route,” said Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman.

The sheriff’s office report says beer cans were found in the area by a police detective with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which owns the tracks. Authorities were checking for fingerprints on the beer cans.

The May 24 incident delayed passengers for 25 minutes, Magliari said. He said vandalism like this is unusual and those responsible are also guilty of trespassing.

“We’re hoping the sheriff’s office and BNSF police can find out who did this,” Magliari said. “We take this seriously with crews and passengers at risk.”

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the railroad is continuing its investigation of the incident.

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Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, https://www.cdapress.com

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