On Monday, May 16th 2021 a freight train derailed near the town of Sibley, Iowa. The following is from CNN.
Union Pacific crews are readying to remove rail cars after a train derailment and fire prompted evacuations in northwest Iowa on Sunday, Union Pacific spokesperson Robynn Tysver said Monday. “We know the impacted cars were carrying hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide and asphalt. The derailment happened at around 2 p.m. Sunday in Sibley and involved an estimated 47 cars. The train crew was not injured.” Tysver saidCNN. Joe Sutton.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation, but first reports indicate that it involved a bridge collapse. The fire itself was caused by diesel fuel.
This incident caught my eye for three reasons. First, it shows that, were such an event to take place in Ashland, it would likely impact the homes and businesses in our neighborhood.
Second, if bridge collapse is indeed a factor then the incident highlights the need for improved infrastructure — a topic that has been much talked about in recent months. If the cause of the incident was indeed a bridge collapse one has to wonder what infrastructure improvements are needed in our community.
The third factor in the incident that caught my attention was the fact that the train included tank cars of potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid (base and acid). Were those two chemicals to mix the consequences would be very serious indeed.