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Authorities Investigating Train Derailment In Northwest Iowa

Sioux County Sheriff's Office
A screen grab of drone footage from the Sioux County Sheriff's Office

Authorities are looking into the cause of a freight train derailment in northwest Iowa.

A BNSF Railway spokesman says 26 of an 83-car northbound train derailed just after 8 p.m. Wednesday. The derailment happened in Sioux County, five miles northwest of Hull.

One of the derailed cars leaked a minor amount of denatured alcohol, but there was no danger to crews or the public, BNSF said. The company adds other derailed cars were empty or had non-hazardous materials.

Captain Jamie Van Voorst of the Sioux County Sheriff's Office said the derailment did not affect any roadways. His department is working to keep people out of the area as BNSF crews and contractors clean it up.

"It's all contained out just on a stretch of rail that's in the middle of a section of farmland," Van Voorst said.

Van Voorst noted that cranes and excavators are on scene, removing the wrecked cars and damaged pieces of rail. 

Several local fire departments, ambulances and emergency services responded to the scene Wednesday, including the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, Lyon County Sheriff's Office and Hull Fire Department, according to a news release from the Sioux County Sheriff's Office.

This is the third train derailment in the area in a little over a year. In June 2018, a train derailed in Doon. A train derailed near Alton in September 2018.

Drone footage from the Sioux County Sheriff's Office:

Updated at 3:10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1.

Katie Peikes is IPR's agriculture reporter