Car Leaking Ethanol After Train Derailment Near Charles City

Posted at: 05/21/2013 7:21 PM
Updated at: 05/21/2013 10:22 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- A train carrying ethanol derailed after flood waters washed away part of a railroad track near Charles City late Monday night.

An unspecified number of cars on that Canadian Pacific train were carrying ethanol, at least one of which ultimately leaked, spilling the chemical into the Little Cedar River.

Four rail cars and three locomotives ended up in the water after the track suddenly washed away. One of those locomotives also leaked engine fluid.

Crews are still working to determine the extent of the leak and control any potential damage, but officials said the high, fast-moving water made it difficult for crews to get near the cars.

Officials said crews have deployed containment booms and absorbent pads to try and control the spill.

"We're keeping DNR officials updated on what our environmental experts are doing in terms of planning to ensure that the waterway is not adversely affected when we start moving the locomotives and the rail cars out of the site,” said Ed Greenberg, senior manager of media relations for Canadian Pacific.

It was not immediately clear what effect the spill might have on the waterway, but officials said environmental experts were running tests on the water late Tuesday night.

Two workers were initially trapped when the train went into the water, but emergency crews were able to rescue them without injury.