published : 2023-09-16

Explosion at world's largest railyard prompts toxic smoke evacuations in Nebraska

Nebraskans evacuated from areas within 4-mile radius of railyard

An image of the Union Pacific's Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, where the explosion occurred. Taken with a Nikon D850.

An explosion inside a shipping container at the world's largest railyard in western Nebraska has sparked evacuations due to the release of toxic smoke.

The incident occurred around noon at Union Pacific's Bailey Yard in North Platte, causing authorities to evacuate everyone within a four-mile radius of the railyard.

The cause of the explosion is still unclear, according to railroad spokeswoman Robynn Tysver. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and no train cars derailed.

The North Platte Fire Department confirmed that heavy toxic smoke was the reason behind the evacuations.

A photo of the shipping container at the railyard, believed to be the source of the explosion. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Fire officials are currently withholding additional details about the incident.

One of the containers involved in the explosion was carrying perchloric acid, a chemical used in explosives and various food and drug products, as stated by Tysver.

The evacuation at the railyard is another reminder of the ongoing concerns about railroad safety nationwide.

Following a recent train derailment and fire in eastern Ohio, which resulted in mandatory evacuations and raised concerns among regulators and lawmakers, the focus on improving safety in the industry has intensified.

A picture of firefighters and emergency responders working to control the situation and ensure the safety of the community. Taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III.

Authorities have closed U.S. Highway 30 between North Platte and Hershey, while Interstate 80 remains unaffected.

The potential impact of the toxic smoke and the mysteries surrounding the explosion have left the community in suspense.

The efforts to contain the situation and ensure the safety of Nebraskans have become paramount.

As investigations into the cause of the explosion continue, residents hope for swift answers and reassurance.