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Cargo train derails in Crawford County Thursday

Source: Canva

Cargo train derails in Crawford County Thursday

Officials said there is no environmental contamination or danger to the public, but are asking people to stay away from the site of the derailment.

April 28, 2023 11:48 AM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

FERRYVILLE, Wis. (WRCO/WRCE) – A cargo train derailed between Ferryville and De Soto in Crawford County Thursday afternoon, according to officials.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department said in a release that four people, all employees of BNSF Railway, were taken to a hospital for medical evaluations after the train derailed at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

The train’s cargo had hazardous materials, such as lithium-ion batteries, oxygen containers and paint. Several cars went off of the track, including two of the three engines, with two of the train cars going into the Mississippi River. The two cars that went into the water contained no hazardous materials, according to BNSF Railway.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, there is no environmental contamination as a result of the derailment. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, as well as state and local officials, said that HazMat teams have been working to clean up the site and to make sure the nearby communities were safe.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said Highway 35 would be closed during the cleanup and didn’t offer a timeline on when the highway would reopen. The derailment happened near the Highway 82 bridge to Iowa, which crosses the Mississippi. That bridge is closed due to historic flooding on the Mississippi.

No reason for the derailment was given in the release. The Sheriff’s Department said there is no reason to evacuate and that the community and environment are safe. However, federal, state and Crawford County officials are asking people to avoid the area during clean-up.

James Hackett, Crawford County Emergency Management Director, praised the response of volunteer first responder departments in working with state and federal officials to help with the derailment.

Republican Rep. Derrick Van Orden, who is from Crawford County, said he would be sending staff to the scene and working with Congress if more action is needed.

BNSF Railway said in a statement that it had staff on scene and that the railway would be blocked off in both directions indefinitely.

Highway 35 remains closed in Crawford County at the site of the derailment 24 hours after it happened, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportaiton.

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