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Train Carrying Lithium Batteries and Paint Derails, Sending Cars Into Mississippi River

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A Wisconsin train derailment on Thursday sent two cars into the Mississippi River and left four people injured.

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe freight train derailed shortly after noon on a rail line that runs along the bank of the river,  according to the LaCrosse Tribune.

Although the train was carrying lithium batteries and paint, as well as oxygen, which could be potentially explosive, Jim Hackett, director of emergency management for Crawford County, said there was no threat to the public, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Hackett said two containers floated away down the river but were recovered. The two containers carried paint, he said.

“The batteries have not gone into the water,” Hackett said.

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Hackett said there was a fuel leak after the derailment, but a boom was deployed to prevent the fuel from reaching the river. A hazmat team and nearly 30 state and federal emergency agencies responded.

The rail line, which was strewn with cars Thursday, will be closed for an unknown period of time.

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The cause of the derailment is still not known, the LaCrosse Tribune reported. The derailment included two locomotives and an unknown number of cars.

The Federal Railroad Administration is sending a team to investigate the accident.

“I live in the area and I told my wife a week ago, I said, ‘Because of all the high water, I said you watch, we’re gonna have a train derailment,’ and we sure did,” Tim Lange of Ferryville said, referring to recent flooding in the area.

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The Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday said freight train operators need to ensure training procedures cover the kinds of extremely long trains currently being operated, according to The Associated Press.

The agency cited three derailments involving trains longer than 12,250 feet in which length was a factor in the crash.

That agency and the National Academies of Sciences are studying the issue and plan to issue a report next year about whether they are a problem.

“FRA believes these incidents demonstrate the need for railroads and railroad employees to be particularly mindful of the complexities of operating longer trains,” the agency said.

There are currently no laws limiting train length, but discussion of imposing them has crested after a February Norfolk Southern trans derailment near East Palestine, Ohio, and the subsequent release of toxic chemicals there.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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