SAFETY

Fireball soars when officials blow up derailed train cars

Apr 1, 2019, 2:42 PM
fireball derailed train juab...
The Juab County Sheriff's Office shared this photo of the fireball after crews detonated derailed tanker cars.

By BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — 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.

derailed train cars fireball

23 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 onboard the train. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

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. The 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 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, where the derailment occurred. The nearest town is Eureka, with less than 1,000 residents, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) away.

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.

Today’s Top Stories

Safety

A 78-year-old man is in critical condition after the vehicle he was driving struck a TRAX train Tue...
Mark Jones

Man injured after vehicle collides with TRAX train

A 78-year-old man is in critical condition after the vehicle he was driving struck a TRAX train on Tuesday afternoon.
2 days ago
The Utah Highway Patrol says that if you get into a fender bender while driving in snow, move the c...
Simone Seikaly

What to do after a fender bender while driving in snow?

The UHP said that after a fender bender in the snow, safety is the main priority. If it's safe, move to the shoulder or the next off-ramp.
2 days ago
USGS posted two photos on Monday from a Civil Air Patrol flight which shows the Mauna Loa volcano e...
Chandler Holt

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa is erupting for the first time since 1984

The world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii, is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years. Though lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, the eruption in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not threatening communities.
2 days ago
crowded zion national park...
Mark Jones

Seasonal shuttle service, camping availability announced at Zion

Fall shuttle service into Zion National Park ended Sunday. It will resume for 10 days beginning on Dec. 23 and running through Jan. 1, 2023.
3 days ago
Photo of a Utah highway petrol vehicle...
Mark Jones

More than 1,500 motorists stopped for speeding over Thanksgiving weekend

The Utah Highway Patrol says more than 1,500 motorists were pulled over for speeding during the Thanksgiving weekend.
3 days ago
snow on a mountain in utah pictured falling on a road...
Adam Small

Latest snow on Utah roads prompts police to encourage safe driving

As snow falls in Utah, police are urging drivers to maintain safe distances and practice caution regardless of how much snow falls this season.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Fireball soars when officials blow up derailed train cars