Nebraska rail car explosion: Thick cloud of ‘heavy, toxic smoke’ seen from tracks as state police issue urgent evacuation orders
- Authorities are asking people living near a railroad in North Platte, Nebraska, to evacuate after a rail car carrying perchloric acid exploded
- Footage near the city shows toxic white smoke billowing into the air, as emergency teams try to contain the blaze
- The fire erupted inside a stationary railcar situated at the Union Pacific Railroad Bailey Yards, which is the largest railroad yard in the world
Authorities in Nebraska have issued evacuation orders after a rail car exploded, causing ‘heavy toxic smoke’ to enter the air.
The incident happened on Union Pacific Railroad tracks in the city of North Platte earlier today, and has caused a section of highway to be closed.
North Platte Volunteer Fire Department announced that they would be evacuating the area due to the fire from the railroad.
In a post to social media, they said: ‘Emergency evacuation for the area between splinter and front North of railroad track due fire at the railroad involving heavy toxic smoke.
‘Explosion at Union Pacific Railroad Bailey Yards at approximately 12:10 pm.’
The incident happened on Union Pacific Railroad tracks in the city of North Platte earlier today, and has caused a section of highway to be closed
Nebraska State Police said the smoke was coming from a railcar fire in the Nebraska town
Pictures shared online by the crew show a thick plume of white smoke moving across farmland.
Further images shared on social media including a video showing thick smoke engulfing an area.
An emergency SMS notification was sent out to civilians in the local area, warning of evacuation from residences and road closures, according to Atlas News.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Union Pacific Railroad said that an explosion occurred inside a container which resulted in several railcars catching fire.
The railcar did not derail, the company said, and had been in the yard for several hours.
Union Pacific said that one of the containers contained a hazardous chemical called perchloric acid.
Perchloric is a hazardous material used in food, drugs and biocidal products, as well as explosives.
According to the company , there were no personnel injured in the initial explosion.
Officials said they had closed a stretch of road, seen here in red, due to the fumes from the fire
Pictures have been shared on social media showing the smoke billowing into the air in the city
In a statement, Nebraska State Patrol said: ‘Emergency crews are on the scene of a railcar fire between North Platte and Hershey.
‘Anyone located between Front Road and Splinter Road, from Highway 30 to 1 mile north, is asked to evacuate the area.
‘Highway 30 is CLOSED in the area at this time. I-80 is not affected.’