Geologic Hazards

Landslide Causes Train to Derail into Mississippi River

Four engines pulling a freight train derailed July 9 and landed in the Mississippi River after hitting a landslide or major rockfall. The accident happened near Guttenburg in northeastern Iowa. Two workers on the train were injured, one was rescued by boat. The engines are now leaking diesel fuel and transmission oil into the river, but crews are on scene to attempt to contain the contamination which has apparently spread 5 miles downstream. Two ethanol tankers derailed as well but do not appear to be leaking. Several rail cars carrying grain have spilled also. There are 75 cars still on the track. Via Reuters and The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA). (Photo credit: Orlan Love/The Gazette)