30,000 gallons of ethanol spilled in Kansas train derailment; dozens of homes evacuated | VailDaily.com

30,000 gallons of ethanol spilled in Kansas train derailment; dozens of homes evacuated

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Two freight train cars derailed, causing a tanker to spill 30,000 gallons of highly flammable ethanol into a ditch and forcing the evacuation of about 50 homes, authorities said.No injuries were reported in the Tuesday night incident.The 17-car Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad train was headed to Hutchinson from Wichita when two tankers and an empty grain car jumped the track in a residential neighborhood, said Jim Wineland, general manager of the K&O.One of the tankers tipped, spilling the ethanol into a water-filled ditch, said Scott Jones, police chief for South Hutchinson. Crews were sent in early Wednesday to upright the other derailed car, which had not spilled its load.Evacuees were housed in a church Tuesday night. The railroad company got hotel rooms and food vouchers for evacuees Wednesday night, Jones said.Businesses, an elementary school and government offices in the area were closed.”Our biggest concern is that this denatured alcohol doesn’t find an ignition source,” Jones said. “It’s obviously very flammable.”A hazardous materials team and firefighters poured sand and foam onto the spill to help prevent the ethanol from igniting.Jones said he didn’t know what caused the derailment.The K&O is a shortline railroad, owned by Pittsburg-based Watco Cos. It began operation in 2001 on 900 miles of track in south-central and western Kansas.South Hutchinson, population 2,500, is about 47 miles northwest of Wichita.Vail – Colorado

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