Twenty three Union Pacific train cars derailed releasing an unknown quantity of propane after one car overturned about six to eight miles south of Eureka, on Saturday, March 30, 2019. No passengers were on-board the train. (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News via AP) (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News via AP)

Fireball soars when Utah officials blow up derailed train cars

The derailment occurred Saturday when 24 of the 165 cars went off the tracks

A massive fireball soared into the sky in the central Utah desert after officials blew up 11 derailed tanker cars containing propane and biodiesel.

The controlled detonation Sunday night was the safest way to deal with the explosive material, Juab County Undersheriff Brent Pulver said Monday about the decision by state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

READ MORE: First day of trial for former Surrey pastor, wife charged with sexual assault

The derailment occurred Saturday when 24 of the 165 cars of a Union Pacific freight train went off the tracks. One car landed on its side and was leaking propane.

The conductor and engineer were not hurt in the derailment, whose cause was not immediately known. Nine rail tankers carried propane, and two had biodiesel.

Officials initially planned to move the rail cars but worried that leaking propane could cause an explosion and injure the crew.

Pulver posted photos online showing the fireball about 75 miles (120 kilometres) south of Salt Lake City, where the derailment occurred. The nearest town is Eureka, with less than 1,000 residents, about 15 miles (24 kilometres) away.

READ MORE: No injuries after plane lands on California street

The fire burned for several hours.

“It was impressive. There is no other way to put it,” he said.

Crews were cleaning up the site and planning to bring in heavy equipment to move the rail cars that are damaged beyond repair, he said.

Brady McCombs, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Rossland Skating Club invites the community to Year End Show

Rossland Skating Club competed in the East Kootenay Invitational Skating Competition last week

Court loss won’t affect Rossland plastic bag ban: mayor

Mayor says community is compliant, with enforceable law or not

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Grand Forks emergency shelter to be managed by Boundary Family Services

The organization got Grand Forks city council’s approval on Jan. 15

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read