This was not a good weekend for Union Pacific. The railroad experienced two significant derailments, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
On Saturday, a 50-car mixed freight train derailed in Albert Lea, Minn., which is about 100 miles south of Minneapolis. Of the 50 cars, Union Pacific reported that about 28 cars derailed, and two were leaking hydrochloric acid. A hazmat team was called to the scene, and officials evacuated the area as a cautionary measure. There were no reports of injury to the crew or residents in the area. Union Pacific is still investigating the cause of the derailment.
On Sunday, a freight train carrying several cars with hazardous materials derailed in the northwest Iowa town of Sibley due to a bridge collapse, and approximately 47 cars hit the ground. A fire followed the derailment, which officials said was caused by diesel fuel, presumably from the locomotives. A bridge collapse also is being investigated as the cause of the derailment.
Officials ordered an evacuation of the area, and there were no injuries reported. Union Pacific is investigating the cause of the bridge collapse and derailment.
RT&S will continue to report on these stories as developments warrant.