Environmental experts are checking for ethanol leaks after a fiery freight train derailment in northwest Iowa.
The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office says the derailment occurred 1 a.m. Friday, near Graettinger.
Palo Alto County emergency management director Mark Hunefeld says at least 27 of 101 cars derailed.
Each carries about 25,000 gallons of ethanol.
Hunefeld says it appears that five of the derailed cars fell into a creek which empties a few miles downstream into the Des Moines River.
Fire officials are allowing the blaze to burn itself out.
The occupants of 3 area homes with in 1/2 mile of the derailment site were asked to evacuate to maintain a safe zone.
No injuries have been reported.
Green Plains Inc. spokeswoman Sasha Forsen says the tank cars were filled with ethanol at a Green Plains plant in Superior, Iowa about 20 miles from where the train derailed.
The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.
Photo courtesy KMEG