Ethanol leak contained - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Ethanol leak contained

RENO, MN (FOX 47) -- "This part you're looking at right here behind me is probably I want to say six or seven cars and beyond what's standing there, there's probably another nine or ten," says Brownsville Fire Chief Gary Meiners.

Clean up continues after 28 train cars derailed near Reno, MN just south of La Crescent. Five of those cars were carrying ethanol and one of those was leaking into the Mississippi River.

"That was the number one priority."

But crews were able to stop the leak by offloading the ethanol onto tanker trucks that were brought in Tuesday night and officials hope to offload a third by Thursday. The ethanol that was spilled into the river has been contained and officials say it shouldn't cause any long term damage.

The cause of the derailment remains unknown at this time, but state officials say it could be related to the failure of a wooden railroad bridge. Although some questions still remain, Brownsville Fire Chief Gary Meiners says he thinks the clean up is moving at a steady pace.

Meiners says, "I mean these guys are going to town on it. They're not sitting around wasting time. I give them a lot of credit for it."

Now crews will be building two service roads to get to the train cars and to begin work on the damaged tracks. Despite the fast response, officials say clean up of the 28 cars might last into next week.

The derailed train and the bridge are owned by the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad.

It's not clear if the privately owned bridge collapsed under the train, or if derailed cars took it out.

Because this bridge is privately owned the state does not inspect it like they would regular state owned bridges.

Highway 26 will reopen at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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