Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Crude oil leaks into floodwaters after train derails in Iowa

Crude oil leaks into floodwaters after train derails in Iowa

About 31 cars derailed after the tracks reportedly collapsed due to saturation from flood waters from adjacent Little Rock River.

BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said workers have unloaded oil from 10 of the oil tank cars that did not leak after the derailment approximately 15 miles south of the Minnesota border.

The 33-car freight train carrying oil from Alberta, Canada, derailed on Friday morning near Doon in Lyon County, Iowa.

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"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 oil will be removed from the containment site with equipment to separate the oil from the water. Williams says "ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and, so far, have found no levels of concern".

He said Saturday that the cause of the derailment hasn't been determined.

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to visit the site of an oil train derailment and oil spill in the northwestern corner of the state. Williams says some of the tankers were compromised, causing the oil to leak into floodwaters and eventually into the rain-swollen Little Rock River, but officials don't yet have an exact number of tankers that leaked oil. Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (VAN'-dur stoop) in neighboring Lyon County says the train derailed between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon. Officials on the scene aren't sure whether floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River caused the cars to leave the tracks. They're also building a road parallel to the tracks to try to get to the derailed and partially-submerged oil cars. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons of oil.

The train's operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, the Lyon County Daily News reported.

Then an unrelated fire at an industrial site about a mile south of town took emergency crews away from the derailment.

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Metropolitan Utilities District said it was monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri.

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