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article imageAlberta train derails in Iowa, leaking oil into swollen river

By Karen Graham     Jun 23, 2018 in World
Doon - A freight train derailed in northwest Iowa on Friday, leaking crude oil into flooded fields flanking the tracks and raising concerns about the possible contamination of residential water supplies downstream, officials said.
A BNSF freight train, coming from Alberta, Canada derailed in northwest Iowa on Friday, leaking crude oil into flooded fields beside the tracks and eventually into the rain-swollen Little Rock River in southern Lyon County near its border with Sioux County.
BNSF railroad spokesperson Andy Williams said no one was injured when 33 oil tanker cars derailed at around 4:30 on Friday south of Doon, Iowa. While Williams said the cause of the derailment hasn't yet been determined, a disaster proclamation issued by Gov. Kim Reynolds for Lyon and three other counties placed the blame on rain-fueled flooding, according to CTV News Canada.
There is some speculation the soil under the tracks where the derailment occurred may have been eroded by the floodwaters. The nearby Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rains on Wednesday and Thursday. The derailment forced the evacuation of residents from neighboring farms and sent the oil downstream to Rock Valley.
BNSF had hazardous materials and environmental experts on the scene and cleanup commenced within hours of the derailment. NPR is reporting that Lyon County Sheriff Steward Vander Stoep confirmed that between 30 and 40 semitrailers containing cleanup equipment had arrived on scene by Friday afternoon.
Ken Hessenius with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says crews are trying to determine how fast the oil is traveling south. The Rock River joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.
"The river, instead of being 100 yards wide, is now maybe a half-mile wide" in spots, Hessenius said, adding this makes the task of cleanup more difficult.
More about Alberta, Iowa, Derailment, minot flooding, Environment
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