Lights and Sirens, News

Multiple-Rail Car Derailment Causes Localized Evacuation Near Lester

Photo Credit: Carol Childress

Rural Lester, Iowa — A 25-car train derailment south of Lester on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad caused authorities to order the evacuation of a small number of people Sunday morning.

According to BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth, at about 4:15 Sunday morning 25 cars derailed just south of Lester.  Some of the derailed cars were carrying LPG, also called LP gas or propane.   She says initial reports were that one of those cars had been compromised.

As a precaution the Lester Fire Department evacuated 12 residences.  Crews were on site on Sunday determining the best way to clear the cars.

McBeth reports the train was traveling from Sioux City to Willmar, Minnesota.  (Both are switching hubs for the railroad.)  It had 52 loads, 48 empties and two locomotives.  It was carrying freight of all kinds.  The crew was not injured in the incident, according to McBeth.

At last report, investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the derailment.

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