SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) — Thick black smoke billowed into the air Sunday after a train derailed in northwest Iowa, prompting authorities to evacuate part of a small, nearby town.
The fiery derailment happened early Sunday afternoon on the southwest edge of Sibley, which is a town of about 3,000 people roughly 200 miles (321.87 kilometers) northwest of Des Moines.
Photos and video of the derailment posted online Sunday show about 30 train cars piled up along the tracks with flames and a large plume of smoke coming from one end of the pile of cars. Local media reports say authorities evacuated an area within 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) of the derailment.
Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls told KIWA radio the train was hauling fertilizer and ammonium nitrate.
Nate Minten of Sibley told the Des Moines Register that smoke was still visible around 4:30 p.m. Sunday from his mother’s home.
“I could see smoke filling up a couple hundred feet at least,” said Minten who posted aerial drone video of the derailment online, “We didn’t hear any bangs or anything.”