Fiery train derailment prompts evacuation of small Iowa town

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SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) — A fiery train derailment in northwest Iowa has sent thick black smoke billowing into the air, prompting authorities to evacuate part of a small Iowa town.

The derailment happened around 2 p.m. Sunday on the southwest edge of Sibley, which is a town of about 3,000 people roughly 200 miles northwest of Des Moines.

Images of the derailment posted online show dozens of train cars piled up along the tracks with flames and a large plume of smoke. Union Pacific said 47 cars derailed.

Smoke billows from a train derailment, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Sibley, Iowa. Union Pacific spokeswoman Robynn Tysver said about 47 railcars came off the tracks during the derailment, but the train crew was not injured. (Mason Dockter/Sioux City Journal via AP)

Local media reports say authorities evacuated an area within 5 miles of the derailment. Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls told KIWA radio the train was hauling fertilizer and ammonium nitrate.

No injuries were reported immediately.

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