Union Pacific train derails in Juab County, prompting multiagency response

A derailed Union Pacific train leaves 23 cars scattered along the rails in Juab County, Utah, March 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Fire Marshall's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Union Pacific train derailed in Juab County Saturday morning, prompting a multiagency response to address the hazardous materials contained in at least one of the 23 cars that left the tracks. The massive cleanup effort continues Sunday.

A derailed Union Pacific train leaves 23 cars scattered along the rails in Juab County, Utah, March 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Fire Marshall’s Office, St. George News

The train derailed shortly after 9:30 a.m. about 8 miles south of Eureka, where 23 cars of the 165-car train derailed. Arriving crews detected a strong smell of propane shortly after arriving on scene, which authorities determined was coming from one of the tankers that flipped onto its side as the cars derailed.

Crews requested additional assistance, prompting a 13-agency response. Responders arrived throughout Saturday and are currently working to to contain the hazardous materials.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality was notified of the incident and continues to monitor situation, Juab County Sheriff Douglas Anderson told St. George News Sunday. Both the conductor and engineer were on the train at the time of the derailment, but neither was injured.

With so many cars derailed, it took some time to figure out the various commodities that were being transported to assess the level of risk to the public, Anderson said.

More than 50 responders from multiple agencies arrived throughout Saturday to assist after a Union Pacific train derailed in Juab County, Utah, March 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Fire Marshall’s Office, St. George News

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time separating and clearing the cars to keep materials from possibly mixing,” Anderson said, “and there is no risk to the public at this time.”

Anderson said crews are currently in a “holding pattern,” and Union Pacific officials are at the scene investigating the cause of the derailment.

The Utah Department of Public Safety is supporting efforts on the ground with responders from various jurisdictions, along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The Division of Emergency Management was called in to support the joint effort, and emergency management staff have been tasked with coordinating feeding efforts for the 50-plus responders still on scene. The Red Cross is also on scene, and no injuries have been reported.

Anderson said the cleanup will continue into next week.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!