Science

Oil train derails in Iowa, spilling crude into the river

Oil train derails in Iowa, spilling crude into the river”

Some of the cars soon began leaking crude oil into the Little Rock River floodwaters, prompting an evacuation of nearby houses and sparking fears of drinking water contamination.

Workers have contained almost half of the crude oil spilled near Rock River in northwest Iowa over the weekend following a freight train derailment on Friday, BNSF Railway Co said. Williams had earlier said 33 oil cars had derailed.

The argument over transportation safety takes on added meaning as more new pipeline projects are scheduled to move oil from the Permian Basin of west Texas to export terminals in Houston and Corpus Christi and to the nation's primary pricing point for crude oil, Cushing, Oklahoma.

In this aerial drone image taken from video and provided by the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, tanker cars carrying crude oil are shown derailed about a mile south of Doon, Iowa, Friday, June 22, 2018.

Williams said he did not immediately know the train's destination. The train derailed early Friday near Doon, north of Sioux City.

He said Saturday that the cause of the derailment hasn't been determined. The Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday. Oil has leaked from 14 of the tankers, spilling into floodwaters and eventually in the rain-swollen Little Rock river. Crews will then use equipment to separate the oil from the water. Williams added that almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site, with additional booms downstream, amid concerns that the oil may contaminate the water supply as far away as Omaha, Nebraska, some 240 km to the south. "We had a large supply in our water towers and we are using our interconnection with rock valley rural water to recharge our water supply".

The city, with a population of almost 3,400, will stay on the rural water system until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water, Olson said.

Williams says he doesn't yet know how much oil has leaked and how many cars are leaking.

The National Weather Service says the Rock River is expected to crest later Friday about a foot below the 2014 record of almost 23 feet (7 meters), when several Rock Valley homes were damaged by the floodwater.



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