BNSF: Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled in derailment

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The river rose rapidly after 13 to 18 cm of rain fell in the days prior to the derailment.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says some 15 to 30 tanker cars derailed between 4:15 and 4:45 this (Fri.) morning south of Doon, and that they are leaking an unknown volume of crude oil into the flooded Rock River. Olson says Rock Valley's water towers also will be drained as a precaution.

Cities downstream from the spill are monitoring their water systems.

Williams says clean-up crews are working to contain the oil as close to the derailment as possible using containment booms, skimmers and vacuum trucks. He did not know when that testing would be finalized.

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Williams says he doesn't yet know how much oil has leaked and how many cars are leaking. He says almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed approximately 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream. About 31 cars derailed after the tracks reportedly collapsed due to saturation from flood waters from adjacent Little Rock River.

32 oil tanker cars derailed on Friday 22 June in Lyon County, Iowa. The Rock River joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.

The train's operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, the Lyon County Daily News reported.

Doon is about 40 miles (65 kilometres) southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where several rain-swollen rivers overflowed Thursday.

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Four homes near the site have been evacuated. State crews were trying to determine how fast the oil was travelling south. The National Weather Service said the Rock River crested at 21.2 feet (roughly 6.5 m) Friday morning, and was expected to subside through the weekend.

Evacuations have been ordered for a northwest Iowa community along the swollen Rock River. On the one hand, proponents are likely to argue that pipelines are much safer than trains; on the other, opponents will say that either form of transportation is a recipe for this kind of disaster.

It's also unclear how many cars derailed and what caused the derailment. Dozens of damaged cars are seen piled on the broken train tracks near the Rock River.

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