Train from Alberta derails, spills oil in Iowa

Train Derailment

Lyon County Sheriff Steward Vander Stoep said between 30 and 40 semitrailers containing cleanup equipment had arrived at the scene near Doon, Iowa, by Friday afternoon.

Tank cars carrying crude oil are shown derailed in Lyon County, Iowa, Friday. He said almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed about 5 miles downstream.

BNSF, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said it was using skimmers and vacuum trucks to clean up the spill and minimize damage to the environment. Williams said "ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and, so far, have found no levels of concern".

(Doon) (AP)- Clean up is underway at the site of that train derailment near Doon, just north of the Sioux-Lyon county line in northwest Iowa. Following her visit to Rock Valley, Reynolds and other officials visited the site of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailment site.

More than 30 tanker cars have derailed in northwestern Iowa and at least some are leaking crude oil into a nearby river. The nearby Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday.

Crews are trying to determine how quickly crude oil leaking from derailed railroad tanker cars in northwest Iowa will reach cities downstream.

According to the Associated Press, BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured in the derailment, and hazardous materials and environmental experts were on the scene within hours of the accident.

The train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta to Stroud, Okla., for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo says each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons. 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.

The derailment also caused concern downstream, including as far south as Omaha, Nebraska, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from the derailment site.

Danger from the spill has been exacerbated by recent rainfall, which has caused the Rock River to overflow its banks along the route of the train tracks.

Omaha's public water utility - Metropolitan Utilities District - is monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri River.

But news of the spill was enough to prompt officials in Rock Valley, a small city about 5 miles (8.05 kilometres) southwest of the derailment, to shut off all the city's drinking water wells.

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