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Train derailment on Wisconsin side of Mississippi, no injuries reported

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Photo credit: Adam Cory
Photo credit: Adam Cory

GRANT COUNTY, Wisconsin (KWWL) - A BNSF train derailment happened this morning on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River near Dubuque.

The derailment was near the area across the river from the John Deere Dubuque Works factory. Amy McBeth, spokeswoman for BNSF Railway, said the accident happened after a train hit a large boulder on the tracks.

"We had 10 rail cars that derailed, and of that, we had 3 that were partially in the water," said McBeth. "What has happened is we have one that is out and two that are partially in the water that we will be working on today."

A mudslide caused a train to derail into the Mississippi River near Glen Haven July 2019. McBeth said while this is the second time one of their trains has derailed within a year, these types of accidents are not common.

"We can eventually get to point to where we can prevent all of these incidents from happening," said McBeth. "That's why, while this incident is unique and different from anything else, we need to understand it full and investigate it. And we intend to do that."

Steven Braun, Head of Grant County Emergency Management, said since the accident happened on private property, the county will not be involved with the repairs. He said while they are concerned with the history of train derailments in the area, they cannot make any safety changes unless BNSF reaches out to them first.

McBeth said they currently have crews working on the repairs. There is no estimated completion date.

"As you know, everything we need on a train is something that we need on a day-to-day basis," said McBeth. "And there's an especially heightened interest in paper products, medicine, cleaning solutions, all those kinds of things. And those are moved my trains across the county. So we understand the importance of safely and quickly getting that track back in service."

There no injuries as a result of the incident. The rail cars were empty during the collision.

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Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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