A five-mile radius near the town of Sibley, Iowa, was evacuated Sunday after a train derailed carrying ammonium nitrate.
Union Pacific spokeswoman Robynn Tysver said that roughly 47 railcars went off the tracks and caught fire, causing large plumes of smoke to rise into the air, according to USA Today.
A train derailed in the far northwest Iowa town of Sibley on Sunday, causing authorities to order evacuations in the area due to concern about ammonium nitrate. https://t.co/2qT5Teoecj
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 17, 2021
Nate Minten was at his mother’s house in Sibley when the train derailed. “I could see smoke filling up a couple hundred feet at least,” Minten told USA Today.”We didn’t hear any bangs or anything.” He reportedly said that an emergency text message was sent out to residents ordering them to evacuate the area on the western end of Sibley.
Around 5:00 p.m. there was a chemical smell in the air, according to Jared VanderVeen, who was visiting family.
Robin Eggink, who was eating at a nearby restaurant, told USA Today that the derailment happened over a collapsed bridge. As a result of the derailment, the train was split in two on different sides of the bridge, USA Today reported. (RELATED: 18-Wheeler Gets Ripped In Half After Train Smashes Through It)
The outlet reported that the derailed train was carrying fertilizer and ammonium nitrate, according to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls.