Train derails into Mississippi River in Wisconsin in latest rail disaster

Train derails into Mississippi River in Wisconsin in latest rail disaster

Two train containers fell into the Mississippi River during a train derailment in southwestern Wisconsin on Thursday, the latest in a string of derailments this year.

According to Marc Myhre, emergency management specialist in Crawford County, the train was carrying hazardous materials that may have been batteries. According to Mr Myhre, the train cars carrying the hazardous materials were not the ones that fell into the river.

CNN reported that BNSF Railway, the train operator, said that some of the numerous containers that derailed but did not fall into the water contained paint and lithium-ion batteries.

The railway said that all of the train’s crew members were accounted for in the aftermath of the derailment, but at least one crew member recieved medical attention. The railway told CNN that it has personnel headed to the scene of the derailment and will launch an investigation into how it happened.

The train derailed outside of the small town of De Soto around 12:15pm local time. De Soto, which is located just across the river from Iowa, is split between Crawford and Vernon counties and is home to less than 300 people.

The US has seen a number of train derailments since the large-scale derailment in East Palestine left thousands of people concerned for their health and pushed issues of commercial railway safety and labour policies into the mainstream earlier this year.

Mr Myhre said that while heavy rains had pushed the Mississippi River close to flood stage in certain areas, the train tracks were the derailment occurred were above water on Thursday afternoon.

BNSF Railway, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the largest freight railways on the continent. BNSF workers protested last year over the implementation of a points system that workers say penalises them for absences and forces them to work while exhausted.

National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy told CNN that her agency is in the process of collecting more information about the incident, including whether or not the train was carrying hazardous materials and if those materials pose any risk to the public.

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