Breaking: Explosion Rocks Middle America


This time, it’s Union Pacific railway who’s responsible for a major toxic explosion. A four mile area had to be evacuated due to the chemicals which caught fire. In the latest disaster, a shipping container full of perchloric acid blew up. This wasn’t a derailment and the train wasn’t moving. The blast happened while the rail car was parked in the middle of the company’s Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska.

Explosion at largest rail yard

As local outlets in Nebraska are reporting, an “explosion inside a shipping container at the world’s largest railyard prompted evacuations in western Nebraska Thursday because of the toxic smoke generated when one of the chemicals aboard caught fire.

Unlike the major disaster which happened earlier this year in East Palestine, Ohio, Officials were able to lift that evacuation order by 6:00 p.m. by evening on September 14. The blast happened right around noon.

Authorities confirm that the “explosion occurred inside an intermodal container” but it isn’t clear what caused it. According to railroad spokeswoman Robynn Tysver, “no one was injured, and no cars derailed.” Because of the toxic smoke released by the blast officials “evacuated everyone within a one-mile radius” of the location “in the western end of the railyard.

A statement was later released noting that “the North Platte Fire Department is evacuating people within a four-mile radius” of the blast. It also announced a hotline available “for those impacted with immediate needs.

Reports explain that it “wasn’t immediately clear how many homes were included in the mostly rural area that was evacuated on the edge of the city.” The NPFD posted on social media that heavy toxic smoke.

North Platte, “is about 230 miles east of Denver and about 250 miles west of Omaha.” As the railroad informs, “the evacuations were done because of the fire at the railyard involved ‘heavy toxic smoke.” The explosion also caused several other nearby cars to catch on fire.

Cause undetermined

The experts are still combing through the wreckage to figure out how the explosion happened. “There was no derailment and the car had been stationary in the yard for a couple hours.

The car which detonated was full of “perchloric acid, a hazardous material, used for a number of things, including food, drug and biocidal products, as well as explosives.” Witness reports note four separate explosions were heard and then there was nothing but orange fire and black smoke.

Dennis Thompson, North Platte’s fire chief, relates “he’s generally pleased with local responders’ performance.” He also assured the public that they dodged a toxic bullet. The explosion was a serious and potentially deadly one but thankfully, “weather conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for us.

Because the toxic fumes went straight up, “the particles were going up and into the atmosphere.” Air monitoring “never showed health concerns. We didn’t detect any levels of the chemical.

The chief “praised the cooperation of railroad employees as well as the firefighting and law enforcement agencies who have regularly trained on what to do in case of a hazardous materials fire, leak or spill at Bailey.

Union Pacific was on top of it instantly. They were “great at making sure we have the resources we need and the help we need to deal with these things.

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