Ethanol tankers derail west of FD

Switching mechanism causes six cars to go off track

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson A Canadian National Railway employee walks with a lantern near a train derailment at Hayes Avenue and 201st Street near Barnum Thursday night.

BARNUM — Six rail cars hauling full loads of ethanol from Valero Renewables — Fort Dodge were derailed Tuesday night near Barnum, according to Lt. Tom Ubben, of the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

Ubben, who leads the Region V Hazardous Materials Response Team, said the rail cars were backing up on the tracks when a switching mechanism malfunctioned.

That caused them to go off the track, he said.

The derailment was reported at about 6:45 p.m. near Hayes Avenue and 201st Street.

Canadian National Railway owns the tracks there.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Fort Dodge firefighters with the Region Hazardous Materials Response Team are shown on scene after a train derailment near Barnum Thursday night.

The six cars were part of a set of several rail cars that were being moved in a railyard, according to Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for the Canadian National Railway.

None of the cars were completely overturned.

No ethanol was spilled and no one was injured, Ubben reported.

The Hazmat team assessed the damage of the cars sometime after 7 p.m.

“Everything is stable right now,” Ubben said.

Canadian National Railway called crews from Omaha, Nebraska, and Waterloo to the scene Tuesday night.

“They are coming with heavy machinery to move the tanks off the main rail and they will have to offload the ethanol into new containers to move them,” Ubben said. “They will lift them up off the main rail and do a transfer into the new vessels.”

Webster County Secondary Roads Department crews set up barricades to close some roads near the derailment scene.

The Region V Hazardous Materials Response Team, Barnum Volunteer Fire Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Canadian National Railway, and the Iowa Department of Transportation were on scene.