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

Morning Start: High heels were first designed for men

Your morning start for Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Spall golfers sizzle

Countback needed to determine low gross winner in first flight

Coldstream provincial park trail gets assessment

Vernon Search and Rescue, BC Parks, assess trail on Kal Lake Provincial Park’s east side

Vernon Vipers add experience to roster

Western League veteran joins Snakes, who also sign player out of prep hockey

Vernon rink back to defend B.C. men’s curling title

Jim Cotter, Rick Sawatsky, Steve Laycock and Andrew Nerpin will seek a third straight championship

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read