UPDATE: Freight train derailment and fire in Palo Alto County, I - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Freight train derailment and fire in Palo Alto County, IA

Posted:
A freight train derailed and caught on fire at around 1 a.m. Friday morning. A freight train derailed and caught on fire at around 1 a.m. Friday morning.
Courtesy: Ginger Hoffman - Graettinger train derailment and fire. Courtesy: Ginger Hoffman - Graettinger train derailment and fire.
Courtesy: Ginger Hoffman - Graettinger train derailment and fire. Courtesy: Ginger Hoffman - Graettinger train derailment and fire.
Palo Alto County, IA (KTIV) -

Flames could be seen at least eight miles from the scene of a train derailment in Palo Alto County.

The fire broke out in the early hours Friday morning. 

"Ten minutes to 1:00am we had received calls to a fire. When the emergency responders arrived it was apparent that there was some type of train derailment. We later found out that the train derailment consisted of approximately 27 cars," said Palo Alto Sheriff Lynn Schultes. 

Of those 27 cars, about eight caught fire. 

The train was carrying flammable material near Graettinger, Iowa causing massive flames to shoot out from the engulfed tanker cars. 

"The train was carrying alcohol from a local ethanol plant in Superior, Iowa. And, right now officials from Union Pacific are assessing the derailment site," Sheriff Schultes said.  

Schultes said Union Pacific brought in HazMat crews and clean up crews to the site of the derailment. 
    
Two people were inside the train at the time of the derailment. "The employees that were on the train, the two employees, were able to leave unhurt," Sheriff Schultes said. 

While no one was injured on the train, homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution. 
    
Officials asked the residents near the train tracks to seek shelter elsewhere. 
    
Just up the tracks lies the town of Graettinger. Sheriff Schultes said if the derailment would have happened a mile up the tracks, the situation would have been much different. 
    
He said that area is more populated than where the derailment took place. 

Crews on scene, this morning had to stay about a half of a mile back and let the flames burn away the alcohol, which was produced by a local plant.


Previous story: 

Breaking news from Palo Alto County, Iowa.

A freight train derailed early this morning and caught on fire near Graettinger.

It happened at around 1 a.m.

The tankers on fire contain ethanol alcohol.

The flames from the train could be seen from at least eight miles away.

When our news crew arrive they saw an explosion.

The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office said the 911 call came from 4360, 300th street.

Palo Alto County Sheriff, Lynn Schultes, says four homes are located near the fire, the people in those homes have been asked to relocate.

Schultes also says that he is thankful that this incident did not happen in the town of Graettinger because more people would have been affected.

Officials say that two people were in the train during the incident - the train conductor and an engineer.

Both of them are out and safe without injuries.

There's a total of 101 cars on the train and eight of it is still on fire as of 7 o'clock this morning.

Union Pacific is on scene and flying a team of specialists to help with the situation.

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