Thick black smoke billowed into the air Sunday after the train derailed in northwestern Iowa, prompting authorities to evacuate part of a small, nearby town.
The fire derailment occurred at about 2pm on Sunday at the southwest end of Sibley, a town of about 3,000 people, about 200 miles northwest of Des Moines. There are no immediate reports of derailment-related injuries.
Photos and videos of the derailment, posted online Sunday, show dozens of train cars piling up on the rails with flames and a large stream of smoke coming from one end of the pile of cars. Local media reported that authorities had evacuated an area within 5 miles of the derailment.
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Union Pacific spokesman Robin Tisver said about 47 trains derailed during the derailment, but the train crew was not injured. She said the railway was working with local authorities.
Tisver said the cause of the derailment was under investigation.
Sibley Fire Chief Ken Hulls told KIWA radio that the train was carrying manure and ammonium nitrate.
Nate Minton of Sibley told the Des Moines registry that the smoke was still visible around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday from his mother’s home.
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“I saw the smoke fill at least a few hundred feet,” said Minton, who posted an online aerial video of a drone drone, “We didn’t hear any explosions or anything like that.”
An emergency message Minton received about the derailment said the western end of Sibley west of Second Avenue had been evacuated.