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Juab train derailment results in propane release

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 on-board the train. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say a train derailment south of Salt Lake City resulted in an unknown amount of propane to be released into the air.

KSL-TV in Salt Lake City reports Juab County fire officials were collecting air samples after 23 cars derailed from the tracks Saturday morning near Eureka. The small town is about 74 miles (or 119 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, and officials say the accident occurred about roughly 6 miles (or 9.5 kilometers) south of Eureka.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality says Union Pacific sent a hazmat team to the site.

Cleanup continued Sunday night when the decision was made to detonate the remaining 11 tankers that were carrying Bio-Deisel and Propane. ” The cleanup is expected to take several more days, and Juab County Undersheriff Brent Pulver told the Deseret News that the explosion was the safest way to dispose of the tankers.

“It was controlled but resulted in a large explosion and a large fireball. It was pretty shocking,” he said.

The detonation was conducted after the Utah Department of Environmental Quality notified state officials and requested the explosive expert to help them determine how to proceed and safely move the tankers. After the decision was made that detonation was the safest option, it was carried out by an expert that was contracted with Union Pacific.


The derailment is still under investigation and the cause is still unknown.