Union Pacific Train Carrying Ethanol Derails In Iowa, Bursts Into Flames

Tyler Durden's picture

27 fuel tank cars carrying ethanol burst into flames on Friday morning after a freight train derailed in northwestern Iowa, authorities said. The flames from the train could be seen from at least eight miles away.

The derailment occurred around 1 a.m., near Graettinger, about 160 miles northwest of Des Moines, the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

It said two crew members escaped unharmed. Nearby residents were asked to evacuate the area and no injuries have been reported. Raquel Espinoza, a spokeswoman for Union Pacific, confirmed that the train is operated by that railroad company, but she declined to say more, referring questions to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Palo Alto County emergency management director Mark Hunefeld said at least 27 of 101 cars derailed, including the burning tanks. Eight cars were still burning as of 7 a.m., the sheriff's office said. Railroad personnel were able to unhitch 74 loaded tankers and move them from the site. Sasha Forsen, spokeswoman for Green Plains Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska, confirmed that the tanks had been filled with ethanol at the company's plant in Superior, Iowa. She declined to say where the shipment was heading.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said agency investigators would be at the derailment site to determine the cause of the accident Friday afternoon.

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wisehiney's picture

"Something smells like cornflakes burning."

Looney's picture


The train looks like one of them Musk rockets taking a nap.  ;-)


Ghost of Porky's picture

Government subsidies go up in flames? What else is new?

TrajanOptimus's picture

Had this been in a pipeline we would have had no issue... But environ mental ists think rail is safer.


sleigher's picture

The dude that owns the railroads likes to have pizza parties with the old president.  So yeah, like, train is better...

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) sleigher Mar 10, 2017 1:10 PM

Don't let Warren & Becky's little rubber duckys ignite or it'll burn for 100 years.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

While pipelines may be better, the rail lines already exist.  And if I was angling to build a pipeline, well... It sure would be a shame if a train or two loaded with oil were to derail.

I'm not some sort of supervillain though.

I'm not saying pipelines should not be built.  But preferably not by the lowest bidder, perhaps?

CPL's picture

Rail only last as long as maintance is done on the entire rail line.  Buffet's lack management and capital allocation of critical infrastructure is terrible.  Someone go break his hip and take his toys away from him then put him in a box.  His juice box is officially declared empty and I think everyone is tired of his fuckups.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

Just when I was thinking your shilling ass was gone. Tylers, wtf are you waiting for. Ban this ass clown.

John Law Lives's picture

It is remarkable how xythras posts spam here and soon afterward has double-digit upvotes.  I wonder how many accounts xythras has on ZH.  It is disappointing that an administrator here hasn't banned this spammer.

DocBerg's picture

Buffet owns the BNSF.  This accident happened on a somewhat competing railroad, the Union Pacific.

land_of_the_few's picture

No sign of any olive or lemon-slice trains?

ATM's picture

The large cube ice train is on its way!

J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock's picture

I'll drink to that!

Getting smashed on ethanol takes on a whole new meaning and at scale!


J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock

Saucy-Jack's picture

More pipelines!!

Just a coincidence I am sure...

Quantum Bunk's picture

should be tossing muslims on while its good and hot

okyoureabeast's picture

You know it's a slow news day when ZH resorts to posting about fires. 

What will be next? A human interest story on dogs that can trade options?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Dogs generally have a pack mentality when trading, as I figure.

Snow day in NYC.

SoDamnMad's picture

We shoulda had a pipeline to carry this stuff. Oh

Is this one of Uncle Warren's trains?

How many carbon tax points to they have to pay for this release?

Mexicans are crying to their saints for all the good corn that was consumed in making this ethanol which is now burning up. Dems lots of lost tacos.


gaoptimize's picture

So as a barter prep, I shopped on-line for a 60-gallon drum of "Distilled Spirits" (highly filtered ethanol).  One of the ~3 companies who sells this price was ~$475 for "the good stuff".  I said "Great! How do we make this happen?"  Then he tells me there is a ~$1,200" federal excise tax and ~$300 for hazmat shipping.  So it's back to cases of half-gallon vodka, rum, and tequilla for me.  :( .

krispkritter's picture

Bought a modified tabletop electric distiller off eBay, costs pennies to run.  Make a wash out of crack corn, taters, etc. and afterwards, drop it in.  Shit actually works...

A. Boaty's picture

Preppers buying booze? DIY, like krispkritter sez.

Swamp Yankee's picture

Long on pipe made from Pittsburg steel.

ATM's picture

Gary, IN steel baby! Nothing better than the black and Macedonian made stuff.

Smedley's picture

Someone get the Marshmellows!!


just the tip's picture

the destructor has come.  choose the form.

AldousHuxley's picture

This is popping corn on ethanol...not a crude spill on Buffett's railroad ZH was going for.

just the tip's picture

not a crude spill but gramp's railroad none the less.

TePikoElPozo's picture

so... the price of gas goes up ?

The Gladiator's picture

This just in: Native Americans seek court ruling to stop all rail traffic across their lands.

moorewasthebestbond's picture



The quality of your local gasoline just improved dramatically.

krispkritter's picture

Go to pure-gas.org and find non-ethanol, your car, mowers, chainsaws, etc. will thank you.

Ms No's picture

Yes thanks.  With a vehicle costing a years worth of income or better nobody needs to break the new junk sooner than it already would either.  The last area I was in had no ethanol and here it's hard to find anywhere that doesn't have it.  I feel really sorry for the folks in washington having to buy bio-diesel.  My truck says if you put that garbage in there all warranty voided etc etc.

tuetenueggel's picture

3 years, 180.000 km i drove on salad oil.

1/10 of the price of diesel. and better perfomance. Car was a Toyota Avensis 2,0


youngman's picture

Food for fuel...great idea...NOT

tuetenueggel's picture

You are not a jour. the little I eat I can drink anyway.

Conax's picture

I thought alcohol burns with a nearly invisible blue flame.  There was an Indy racer that was invisibly on fire in the pits one time.

Guess that's something else.


oldguyonBMXbike's picture

That's likely Methanol. 

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

Correct, it is methanol that burns with an invisible flame.

Conax's picture

Huh? I have lit my vodka before, it burned blue.