UpdateUS train carrying ethanol derails, triggers fire

07 October 2011 19:56  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds statements from Archer Daniels Midland and Renewable Fuels Association, updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A train carrying ethanol for US-based agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) derailed on Friday at Tiskilwa, Illinois, triggering an explosion and fire that led to the evacuation of 300 people from the small town.

Twenty-six cars on the train derailed, including seven to nine loaded with ethanol, according to local media reports. ADM did not say how many of the ethanol cars belonged to the company.

Some of the ethanol and grain cars continued to burn as of early Friday afternoon, said Les Grant, public information officer for Bureau County Emergency Management.

“The fire’s not out yet,” Grant said. “There’s a lot of material there.”

Grant said the evacuation was voluntary. The town has 800 residents.

There were no reports of injuries. By mid-morning the fire was under control but still burning, according to media reports.

ADM issued a statement saying the 131-car train  included ADM railcars carrying ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubles - an animal feed called DDGS, the company said.

Six railcars from the train, which included more than 60 ethanol railcars, were reported to be burning.

About 75% of all ethanol produced in the US travels by rail, according to a statement released by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a trade group for the ethanol industry.

In 2010, 50 tank cars carrying ethanol were involved in accidents, out of 315,718 total shipments, the RFA statement said.

Tiskilwa is around 100 miles west of Chicago.

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten


By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653



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