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JACKSON, NE – A Northeast Nebraska Railroad train hauling ethanol derailed on Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Jackson, Nebraska.

Northeast Nebraska Railroad Train Derails in Jackson, NE spilling ethanol.

Jackson is in Dakota County, Nebraska in the northeastern part of the state, about 106 miles northwest of Omaha and about 11 miles southwest of Sioux City, IA.

Some rail cars from the train jumped the tracks along U.S. Highway 20 just west of the Siouxland Ethanol Plant at 1501 Knox Boulevard around 5:00 a.m. in the morning.


The mishap caused ethanol to be spilled from an ethanol tanker car. Hazardous materials team was called in to the site of the mishap to contain the spill.

Residents have not been ordered to evacuate but area around the derailment site was cleared as a precaution. Authorities have stated that the incident does not pose a danger to the public.

According to reports, 3 cars went off the tracks and at least one tanker was reported to be on its side leaking ethanol. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and no railroad workers were injured in the mishap.

Location of Northeast Nebraska Railroad train derailment in Jackson, NE just west of the Siouxland Ethanol Plant on Knox Boulevard.

Emergency crews from Ponca, Dakota City and Norfolk were dispatched to the scene.

Officials are aware that ethanol is a volitile product that could catch fire, but pointed out that the amount of material spilled was minimal but that the exact amount isn’t known. First responders reacted quickly and found a leak on one of the tanker cars where the ethanol was leaking. They tightened the cylinders in order to minimize the volume of fuel that was leaking out.

According to an article at the Dakota County Emergency Manager Pat Foust had the following comments about the spilled ethanol:

It’s not like the ground is saturated or we have it puddled or anything, … One of the reasons we have the highway closed is to ensure that we don’t induce a spark or have someone not realize what’s going on and pitch out a cigarette.

It is expected that Highway 20 could remain closed until about 5 or 6 in the evening. Residents from Jackson are permitted to enter the town, but they must use a detour. Traffic was being diverted around a four-mile section of Highway 20.

Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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