A 38-year-old homeless woman is in jail after being accused of causing $1.5 million in damage at the BNSF railyard in Wenatchee Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the woman was observed throwing rail line switches which caused several cars to derail and damage the track system.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, BNSF said it would take days to fix the railroad and 12 hours to get the train back on the tracks and running.

BNSF workers said the incident caused delays in the railroad schedule and delays in the delivery of products.

Police say the woman was watched flipping switches while walking down the tracks.

They say a conductor stopped a train to connect more cars and noticed the switches were in the right condition. He said the switches were in the wrong position when the train started to role, which led several cars derailing.

Police say they were told a total six switches were destroyed at a cost of $300,000 each to replace. An investigator said he observed damage on the tracks between the 600 block of S. Worthan and the 1700 block of S Wenatchee Ave.

The woman was arrested in the 1700 block of South Wenatchee Avenue along the tracks.

She was booked into the Chelan County jail Wednesday afternoon for suspicion of malicious injury to railroad property and second-degree criminal trespass.

Washington Street Bridge closed

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

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