BNSF crews clean up train derailment in Alma

BNSF says five tank cars spilled thousands of gallons of ethanol into Mississippi River

BNSF Railway crews are continuing to clean up a freight train derailment that caused thousands of gallons of ethanol to leak into the Mississippi River.

It happened just before 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department said 32 cars fell off the tracks near Highway 35 and County Road I, which is about 2 miles north of Alma.

No one was hurt, but BNSF said five tank cars did leak ethanol into the Mississippi River. BNSF said one tank car released about 18,000 gallons of ethanol and the other four released an estimated 5 to 500 gallons of ethanol.

BNSF crews placed containment boom along the shoreline of the river, removed the remaining product from the cars and got the cars back on the tracks.

In a statement BNSF said, “BNSF is continuing to monitor for environmental impacts and to work on scene with the multiple federal and state agencies involved.”

The Federal Railroad Administration will be investigating what caused this derailment.

In the meantime, BNSF does expect to return to service Monday morning.

For residents who were financially impacted by Saturday’s temporary evacuation, you can contact BNSF’s Claims Department at 763-782-3354.