Train in Iowa hauling hazardous materials derails, catches fire

Fire is seen on a Union Pacific train carrying hazardous material that has derailed in Sibley, Iowa, on May 16, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS/NATHAN MINTEN

IOWA (REUTERS) - A Union Pacific train hauling hazardous materials derailed and then caught fire in the city of Sibley, Iowa, authorities said on Sunday (May 16), leading to the evacuation of dozens of people although there were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

The derailment, involving 47 rail cars, took place in the afternoon in Sibley, Union Pacific said, adding the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Within an hour, local officials texted an evacuation order to people nearby. An area comprising about an 8km radius around the scene of the derailment was evacuated as a precaution, according to ABC News.

"There were no injuries to the crew," Union Pacific said in an e-mailed statement, adding that Union Pacific was working with first responders at the scene.

"Approximately 80 people were evacuated", the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in an e-mail.

Mr Ken Huls, the fire chief in Sibley, said the train was carrying fertiliser and ammonium, the radio station KIWA reported.

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