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Train car wreckage removed after Sibley derailment, crews now focus on repairing track and bridge

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Train Cleared from Sibley Tracks
The train wreckage was cleared Tuesday morning.
Train 5-16
Image courtesy of KIWA Radio
Train 5-16 3
Image courtesy of KIWA Radio
Sibley, IA Trail Monier
Image Courtesy: Jim Monier
Sibley, IA Derailment Monier
Image Courtesy: Jim Monier
Another train
Image Courtesy: John & Brenna French
Train 4
Image Courtesy: John & Brenna French
Sibley Evacuation part 2
The above image provided by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office shows a highlighted area that remains under evacuation orders following Sunday's train derailment.

UPDATE (8:25 a.m. Tuesday)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Officials with Union Pacific Railroad announced that they have finished clearing the derailed train cars early Tuesday morning.

They say the fire has been reduced to smoldering and is expected to be completely extinguished Tuesday.

They are now focusing on moving forward with repairing the track and bridge that were damaged during the derailment.

Highway 60 will remain closed until the site cleanup is finished to allow heavy machinery and crews into the area.

Officials say the cause remains under investigation and that they want to thank the community and first responders.


PREVIOUS (8:15 p.m.)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Evacuation order lifted in Sibley, Iowa, following Sunday afternoon train derailment, fire.

Osceola County Sheriff says everyone can return to their homes. Businesses can resume normal activities tomorrow.


PREVIOUS (5:15 p.m. Monday)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - The remaining evacuation orders for Sibley, Iowa are expected to be lifted Monday night after a train derailment over the weekend forced residents to leave their homes.

During a meeting amongst community leaders, officials stated they expect to lift the remaining evacuated area around 8 p.m.

On Monday morning, a portion of Sibley remained evacuated due to the train derailment that caused a fire to break out Sunday afternoon. Officials say currently there are around 100 people still evacuated from the residential area.

Emergency personnel remain at the scene of the derailment as officials continue to monitor the fire. As of Monday afternoon, officials say only one tank remains on fire.

Hazmat crews are also at the scene cleaning up the hydrochloric acid that had spilled due to the derailment. The incident occurred near a creek and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is monitoring the situation to determine if the water was affected.

The cause of the derailment is still unknown at this time. The Federal Railroad Administration will be investigating the incident.


PREVIOUS (10:40 a.m. Monday)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Officials with Union Pacific have confirmed the railcars that derailed near Sibley, Iowa contained hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide and asphalt.

Union Pacific's Hazmat team has been on-site throughout Sunday night and into Monday morning to help address the spill.

Officials say first responders have worked since Sunday afternoon on the derailment and are now preparing a plan to start removing the railcars. Currently, the plan is to allow the ongoing fire to burn itself out as responders continue pumping water onto it. There is no threat of an explosion due to the fire at this time.

Portions of the voluntary evacuation orders are still in effect for Sibley as of Monday morning.

Officials are reporting that a bridge collapse did not cause the derailment and that it was actually destroyed during the derailment. Union Pacific is still investigating the cause of the derailment.


PREVIOUS (9:01 a.m. Monday)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Officials with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office say portions of Sibley, Iowa, remain under evacuation orders following Sunday's train derailment and fire.

The above image provided by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office shows a highlighted area that remains under evacuation orders following Sunday's train derailment.

Officials with Union Pacific Railroad say the cause of the derailment was a bridge collapse.

The derailment caused a diesel fire to break out, sending heavy black smoke into the air.

No one was injured, but a five mile evacuation radius was put into place.

The off-ramps from Highway 60 are closed until further notice. Robin Tysver with Union Pacific said it is not clear how long cleanup will take but expects it to be a while.

"It could take a while but we're going to do it, we're going to do it safely, we're going to do it as quickly as possible," said Tysver.

Last night evacuated residents were being housed at the American Legion Hall in Ashton, Iowa.

Sibley-Ocheyedan Schools will be on a late-start schedule today due to the train derailment from Sunday. Those at the school district are asked to use county roads to enter Sibley from the east, as access from the west portion of town is currently closed off.

School officials also say regional girls golf at Sibley County Club has been postponed to Tuesday.


PREVIOUS (9:13 p.m.)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Officials say no one was hurt following a train derailment and fire in Sibley, Iowa, on Sunday.

Officials with Union Pacific Railroad say the accident happened around 2 p.m., with 47 cars derailing. No one from the crew was hurt.

While authorities said the derailment was the result of a bridge collapse, officials with Union Pacific said it is still under investigation.

Robin Tysver with Union Pacific said it is not clear how long cleanup will take.

Authorities say the fire was caused by diesel fuel.

The derailment caused some residents and businesses in a five-mile radius of the accident located west of 2nd Avenue on Old Highway 60 to evacuate.

While Highway 60 remains open, the ramps are closed until further notice.

A reception center for those needing shelter following the evacuation is set up at the American Legion Hall in Ashton, Iowa.

"We are asking residents to shelter in place in their homes," said Mike Schulte, Osceola County Supervisor. "It's recommended that they leave windows open on both sides of the house and be positioned in the middle of their homes. this is just a preventive safety measure."


PREVIOUS (5:55 p.m.)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Authorities say the derailment was the result of a bridge collapse.

They say the fire was caused by diesel fuel. All waterways in the area have been blocked.

Authorities say they will update when more information becomes available.


PREVIOUS (2:46 p.m.)

SIBLEY, Iowa (KTIV) - Multiple crews are on the scene of a train derailment in Osceola County near Sibley, Iowa.

According to the Osceola County Sherriff's Office, there are multiple fire departments on the scene.

Kendall Helmers from Melvin Fire Dept. says there is a 5-mile evacuation radius around the scene. Hwy 60 is open but ramps are closed.

According to KIWA Radio, officials with the Sibley Fire Department say the train was hauling fertilizer and explosive ammonium nitrate. Hazmat teams were called in to assist.

Sibley Fire Department was on scene first around 2:30 p.m., with Melvin, Ashton, Little Rock and Ocheyedan assisting.

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