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BREAKING NEWS: Evacuation ordered following train derailment and fire in Iowa


Iowa town of 3,000 is evacuated after train carrying fertilizer and ammonium nitrate derails and explodes

  • A train derailed in the  northwest Iowa town of Sibley on Sunday afternoon 
  • Evacuations have been ordered in the area after around 30 train cars piled up
  • Flames and large plumes of black smoke were sent billowing into the sky 
  • Derailment happened around 2pm with those within a five mile radius evacuated 

A train derailed in northwest Iowa on Sunday afternoon sending thick plume of smoke and flames shooting into the sky.

The goods train which consisted of about 30 cars derailed in Sibley, a small city of about 3,000 close to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The large blaze send clouds of smoke in to the air which could be seen for miles around. The incident also forced part of the town to be evacuated.

A train derailed in northwest Iowa on Sunday afternoon sending thick plume of smoke and flames shooting into the sky

The goods train which consisted of about 30 cars derailed in Sibley, a small city of about 3,000 close to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The goods train which consisted of about 30 cars derailed in Sibley, a small city of about 3,000 close to Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

The derailment happened around 2pm. Those within a five mile radius were told to evacuate

The derailment happened around 2pm. Those within a five mile radius were told to evacuate

Fire departments from neighboring towns, Ashton, Little Rock, Melvin, Ocheyedan, and Sheldon were all sent to the scene. 

Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls said the train was carrying the fertilizer and explosive ammonium nitrate. 

According to the Osceola County dispatcher, the area around the derailment was being evacuated. 

It wasn’t immediately certain if there were any injuries or fatalities. 

The train was carrying fertilizer and ammonium nitrate which can explode

The train was carrying fertilizer and ammonium nitrate which can explode

The large blaze send clouds of smoke in to the air which could be seen for miles around. The incident also forced part of the town to be evacuated.

The large blaze send clouds of smoke in to the air which could be seen for miles around. The incident also forced part of the town to be evacuated.

Nearby residents posted video of smoke billowing from the derailment online

Nearby residents posted video of smoke billowing from the derailment online

According to the Osceola County Sherriff's Office there are multiple fire departments on site

According to the Osceola County Sherriff’s Office there are multiple fire departments on site

DANGERS OF AMMONIUM NITRATE

While not used as an industrial explosive on its own, ammonium nitrate is unstable; at high temperatures it decomposes into nitrogen, oxygen and water vapor. 

Again, it is a relatively low-energy explosion, but dangerous when large amounts are involved. 

It is reckoned to be about 40% as powerful as TNT.  

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