Video has emerged showing the extent of the damage after a train derailed just outside a town close to Iowa’s border with Minnesota.
The derailment on a Union Pacific railroad occurred at about 2 p.m, local time on Sunday, with 47 cars coming off the track near the small town of Sibley, Union Pacific spokesperson Robynn Tysver told the Associated Press.
There have been no reports of injuries.
Drone footage of the aftermath of the derailment has since appeared online and shows, several carriages off the track and black smoke billowing out from the wreckage.
Authorities said the derailment was the result of a bridge collapse, though officials with Union Pacific said it was still under investigation. The fire was caused by diesel fuel, according to authorities.
The derailment led to an evacuation within a five mile radius of the accident, which was located west of 2nd Avenue on Old Highway 60.
There were concerns about the train exploding because of the materials it was transporting. Union Pacific later confirmed the cars were carrying hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide and asphalt.
On Sunday, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office told all those who could not evacuate the area to “open windows on both sides of their homes and be positioned in the middle of their homes. This is a safety measure in case a rail car explodes.”
The Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District also said that classes would be delayed by two hours at least on Monday as a result of the derailment.
A decision about the rest of the day will be made Monday morning, the district said in a Facebook post.
“Be safe, and thanks to all our emergency personnel for their work to help us be secure in these times of crisis,” it said.
In a statement to Newsweek , Union Pacific spokesperson Robynn Tysver said: “Union Pacific crews worked with first responders through the night, and are preparing a plan to fight the fire and begin the recovery effort to remove rail cars.
“We know the impacted cars were carrying hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide and asphalt. Union Pacific’s Hazmat team has been on site all night and deployed boom into Otter Creek.
“The voluntary evacuation order remains in place, as ordered by local Emergency Management officials with whom we are coordinating. We apologize to those impacted by the derailment.”
Witnesses have described seeing the huge smoke rising up from the site of the derailment on Sunday.
“I could see smoke filling up a couple hundred feet at least,” Sibley resident Nate Minten, who posted the drone footage to Facebook, told AP. “We didn’t hear any bangs or anything.”
Robin Eggink and her husband, Scott, from Vinton, were visiting family just outside of Sibley when they noticed the train started slowing down.
At first they thought the train had stopped for some equipment or just a break until they saw a big cloud of smoke as they were leaving the Pizza Hut restaurant where they were eating.
“The fire trucks started coming around and telling everyone we have to evacuate,” Eggink told AP.
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