Over two dozen cars involved in Iowa train derailment
No one was injured in the fiery Iowa train derailment that occurred in the northwest corner of the state early on Friday morning, however, officials are concerned about the unknown volume of biofuel that spilled into a nearby creek.
A 15-member team from the US National Transportation Safety Board is being dispatched to the scene to investigate the incident that occurred just before 1 a.m. near Graettinger, about 160 miles northwest of Des Moines.
According to the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office, the Union Pacific derailment forced the evacuation of nearby residents from three nearby residences who have since returned to their homes.
Two crew members aboard the train were able to escape the incident without injury.
Flames could still be seen at the site of the Iowa train derailment at 10:30 a.m., and the fire was expected to burn for several hours as officials let the fuel burn off.
According to the NTSB, three locomotives were part of the train as well as 101 cars, and all but one of the cars were carrying ethanol. The tank cars were DOT 111 models, long criticized as puncture-prone and unfit for use on US rails.
Clean up crews and equipment are staging in nearby Graettinger, Iowa and will begin the task of cleaning up the site after it has been deemed safe, which could be several hours.
The ethanol train was en route from Green Plain Inc’s Superior, Iowa, facility.