Estimated 230000 gallons of oil spilled in derailment: BNSF

24 June, 2018, 16:41 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Emergency Officials Meet

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said 14 of 32 oil tanker cars that derailed Friday just south of Doon in Lyon County leaked oil into surrounding floodwaters from the swollen Little Rock River.

Rock Valley mayor Kevin Van Otterloo says the swift floodwaters have quickly brought some of the oil about seven miles down the Rock River to Rock Valley. He says almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed approximately 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream. We are containing the oil that was spilled as close to the incident as possible using containment booms and recovering it with skimmers and vacuum trucks. Crews will then use equipment to separate the oil from the water. Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the large oil slick threatens an already hard flood situation for the downstream city of Rock Valley.

Governor Reynolds is touring the area on Saturday and learning about the clean-up efforts, after declaring a disaster proclamation for Sioux County and four others in northwest Iowa.

BNSF had hazardous materials and environmental experts on the scene and had begun cleanup within hours of the derailment, Williams said.

A major part of that work includes building a temporary road parallel to the tracks to allow in cranes that can remove the derailed and partially submerged oil cars.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to visit the site of an oil train derailment and oil spill in the northwestern corner of the state.


The train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Stroud, Oklahoma, for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons of oil.

Officials say they don't know what caused the train to go off the rails, although a local, Jacob Faber, told the Des Moines Register that there was water on the train tracks.

The derailment also caused concern downstream, including as far south as Omaha, about 150 miles from the derailment site.

The city of Rock Valley shut off its drinking water wells out of fear of contamination. The Little Rock River flows into the Rock River which is at flood stage in the city of Rock Valley.

The city, with a population of almost 3,400, will stay on the rural water system until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water, Olson said.

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