June 15, 2020: Union Pacific Train Carrying Hazardous Materials Derailed and Exploded in Wyoming

A Union Pacific freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed just outside of Rock Springs, WY on Saturday afternoon. Of the twenty-six cars that derailed, ten of them were carrying ethanol, alcohol, and plastic material which caused a large explosion and 100-foot flames.
A total of 25 acres of land burned before firefighters could extinguish the flames. Two deputies received 2nd degree burns during the explosion but were treated and released from a local hospital. Sweetwater County Fire Chief, Scott Kitchner, said “[UP’s] resources remain on the scene as well as local resources to monitor the work that the railroad has ongoing and to monitor the wild land.”
The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation by Union Pacific, Wyoming Department of Transportation, and the Federal Railroad Administration. It could take as long as one year to determine the cause.

Train Derailment Fire Extinguished, Investigation Underway