Soil expert: Mudslide that led to ACE train derailment near Sunol was caused by El Niño-driven storms


BERKELEY (KRON) — The mudslide that led to the ACE train derailment was caused by the El Niño-driven storms that we have had this year, according to soil experts.

KRON’s Jeff Bush talked to a geotechnical engineer, who explained why the hillside gave way.

“The hillside, from the limited views I’ve seen, looks like a scar up on the hill, and usually, that’s where some soil has slid down or some rocky material has slumped down the hill and onto the tracks, perhaps bringing trees or other debris with it,” Alan Kropp said.

“The scar is evidence of where the ground used to be and then it got deposited on the tracks, and trains are not obviously designed to deal with lots of big rocks and trees,” he said.

Related: Man describes inside ACE train

Kropp said the wet weather that is comiing up this week could cause other hills to slide, and he warns homeowners to be cautious if they live near an area that is prone to land slides.

Watch the above video to see Jeff’s full report, and he will also have another report on this story at KRON News at 11 p.m.

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