A train derailed near Sibley that had several cars that were carrying hazardous chemicals. The number of cars derailed was around 47 and the resulting fire caused massive panic in the neighboring towns. No injuries have been reported.
Sibley is a town of about 3,000 people roughly 200 miles northwest of Des Moines. The west end of the town was evacuated after the derailment. An evacuation order remained in place Monday for part of a northwest Iowa town as firefighters worked to extinguish the burning train.
COMING UP at 10 on KELOLAND News, we have the latest on a train derailment in Sibley, Iowa. pic.twitter.com/KKpA8he1pm
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Anderson told ABC News that there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths but dozens of nearby residents were evacuated as crews scrambled to put out the flames.
“Osceola County emergency management has reported approximately 80 people were evacuated from the town of Sibley as the result of a train derailment and fire,” Lucinda Parker, with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Breaking: Evacuations are underway in Sibley, Iowa, after a train derailment. Hazmat crews are reportedly responding to the scene. pic.twitter.com/PmHaK03QDo
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Union Pacific spokeswoman Robynn Tysver said the railroad’s hazardous materials experts worked with first responders through the night to contain the blaze.
Tysver said several cars involved in the derailment were carrying hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide and asphalt. An empty tank car on the train had been carrying liquid ammonia nitrate.
The railroad said the cause of the derailment remains under investigation, but witnesses reported that a bridge had collapsed underneath the train.
Robin Eggink told the Des Moines Register that she and her husband noticed the train slowing down followed by a big cloud of smoke as they were eating at a Pizza Hut outside of Sibley on Sunday.
The family drove near the site of the smoke and saw the train split in two on both sides of a bridge that had collapsed before firefighters ordered them out of the area, Eggink said.