Cleanup of oil from derailment in Iowa begins
DOON, Iowa (AP) —
The Latest on the crude oil leaking after a train derailment in northwest Iowa (all times local):
Cleanup of an oil spill caused by the derailment of nearly three dozen oil tankers in northwestern Iowa has begun.
Lyon County Sheriff Steward Vander Stoep says between 30 and 40 semitrailers containing cleanup equipment had arrived at the scene near Doon, Iowa, by Friday afternoon.
BNSF spokesman Andy Williams says 33 oil tanker cars hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada, derailed around 4:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon. 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.
Williams says clean-up crews are working to contain the oil as close to the derailment as possible using containment booms, skimmers and vacuum trucks.
Rock Valley, a small city just to the southwest of Doon where more than 30 oil tanker cars derailed into floodwaters, has shut off all its drinking water wells.
City public information officer Travis Olson says the wells were shut down as soon as Rock Valley officials were told of the derailment and oil spill north of them early Friday morning. Olson says Rock Valley's water towers also will be drained as a precaution. In the meantime, the city is getting its water from the nearby Rock Valley Rural Water system, which Olson says is not in danger of being contaminated by the spill.
Olson says the city will use the rural water supply until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water. He did not know when that testing would be finalized.
Rock Valley, with a population of nearly 3,400, sits on the Rock River about five miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream from the derailment site.
Crews are trying to determine how quickly crude oil leaking from derailed railroad tanker cars in northwest Iowa will reach cities downstream.
One or more of 31 tanker cars on the derailed train is leaking into floodwaters surrounding the tracks near Doon, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The train derailed around 4:30 a.m. Friday.
It's not yet clear how many tankers are leaking or how much oil has escaped.
Ken Hessenius with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says his crews will try to determine how fast the oil is being carried downstream by the rain-swollen Little Rock River. It joins the Rock River a few hundreds yard west, which courses south into the Big Sioux River. That empties into the Missouri River at Sioux City.
He says towns supplied by shallow wells near the Rock River have been alerted about possible contamination.
Authorities say crude oil is leaking from one or more of 31 tanker cars that have derailed in northwest Iowa.
BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured when the cars derailed around 4:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon in Lyon County. Officials on the scene aren't sure whether floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River caused the cars to leave the tracks.
Williams says he doesn't yet know how much oil has leaked and how many cars are leaking. Cleanup crews have been dispatched.
Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (VAN'-dur stoop) says four homes near the site have been evacuated. He says the oil is being carried downstream into the Rock River a few hundred yards west.
The Rock River has gone out of its banks as well and is expected to crest later Friday at Rock Valley, less than 5 miles (8 kilometer) downstream.
Some northwest Iowa residents have been evacuated following a train derailment that caused a crude oil leak.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office said Friday that residents living along a rural road south of Doon have left their homes. 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. He says it's unclear how much oil has leaked.
It's also unclear how many cars derailed and what caused the derailment. A BNSF spokesman didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press. Floodwater along the Little Rock River is running over a road north of the track.
Evacuations have occurred downstream at Rock Valley, where the Rock River is expected to crest later Friday. The Little Rock flows into the Rock River.