Train-Barge Collision Sends Coal Cars Into Mississippi River

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train traveling south near Montrose, Iowa, collided with a barge just before midnight November 13, derailing multiple train cars and sending two cars into the Mississippi River.

Officials of BSNF said the train struck the nose of a barge that was protruding onto the main track. Six train cars and two locomotive cars derailed during the collision. Two cars landed in the river, spilling coal that was being transported into the water; three landed partially in the water and one of the cars remained upright, the officials said. BSNF personnel worked to clear the remaining 137 coal cars from the area, and to remove any coal that ended up in the water. 

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, several hundred gallons of diesel was released on the ballast material and was seeping into the Mississippi River from the locomotive fuel tank.  No injuries were reported

Iowa DNR is working with local emergency responders, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Montrose (Iowa) Fire Department and Lee County EMS, Emergency Management and Sheriff’s offices assisted in the response to the incident.