A TRAIN in Iowa derailed and exploded on Sunday afternoon, causing evacuations in the area after some 30 train cars piled up.
The train was carrying fertilizer and ammonium nitrate, highly flammable substances. Parts of Sibley within a five-mile radius of the explosion are under an evacuation order.
As the fire is sending plumes of smoke and chemicals into the air, a nearby nursing home and hospital are reportedly being evacuated.
Sibley has a population of about 3,000.
Nate Minten of Sibley posted a video of the smoke rising on his Facebook page.
“I could see smoke filling up a couple hundred feet at least,” Minten said. “We didn’t hear any bangs or anything.”
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The train reportedly derailed around 2 pm on Sunday. Minten said he could still see smoke as of 4:30 pm.
Jamie Craig, superintendent of the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District, was at the district’s commencement ceremony when the derailment happened and saw the Sibley fire chief leave early
Fire departments from multiple neighboring towns responded to the scene.
It is unknown if there are any injuries or fatalities related to the incident.