Train from Alberta derails in Iowa leaking crude oil into floodwaters

Train from Alberta derails in Iowa leaking crude oil into floodwaters

DOON, Iowa — A freight train derailed in northwest Iowa on Friday, leaking crude oil from into flooded fields flanking the tracks and raising concerns about the possible contamination of residential water supplies downstream, officials said.

BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured when 33 oil tanker cars from Alberta, Canada, derailed around 4:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon in Lyon County. Some of the tankers were compromised, causing the oil to leak into floodwaters and eventually into the rain-swollen Little Rock River, but officials didn’t have an exact number of tankers that leaked oil by late Friday afternoon, Williams said.

BNSF had hazardous materials and environmental experts on the scene and had begun cleanup within hours of the derailment, Williams said.

“We are containing the oil that was spilled as close to the incident as possible using containment booms and recovering it with skimmers and vacuum trucks,” he said.

Williams said he did not immediately know the train’s destination.

Lyon County Sheriff Steward Vander Stoep said between 30 and 40 semitrailers containing cleanup equipment had arrived at the scene near Doon, Iowa, by Friday afternoon.

Officials at the scene agreed that floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River played a part in causing the cars to leave the tracks, but said they weren’t yet sure whether the waters compromised the track, physically pushed the cars off it or played a part in some other way. The river rose rapidly Wednesday after 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimetres) of rain fell Wednesday and a further downpour on Thursday.

Full article: Calgary Herald

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