Posted: 03/05/2015, 05:10pm | Associated Press
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — A BNSF Railway freight train containing 103 cars loaded with crude oil has derailed near the northern Illinois city of Galena.
According to railroad officials, the train derailed around 1:20 p.m. Thursday in a rural area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi.
Galena City Administrator Mark Moran said city fire crews responded to the derailment 3 miles south of the city.
“The report that came back to me from them is that eight tanker cars had left the track,” Moran told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. “Two of those were still upright. The other six were not.”
Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Moser says several cars have caught fire as a result of the derailment. Authorities are evacuating a 1 mile radius around the crash site as a precaution, according to the sheriff’s office.
Gov. Rauner has activated the State Incident Response Center and has sent personnel from several state agencies to the site of the derailment.
irefighters could only access the derailment site by a bike path, said Assistant Fire Chief Bob Conley. They attempted to fight a small fire at the scene but were unable to stop the flames.
Firefighters had to pull back for safety reasons and were allowing the fire to burn itself out, Conley said. In addition to Galena firefighters, emergency and hazardous material responders from Iowa and Wisconsin were at the scene.
The cause of the derailment hasn’t been determined, said BNSF spokesman Michael Trevino, adding railroad employees are on the scene and additional personnel were headed to the scene and would work with local responders.
The train’s destination wasn’t immediately known.