Two containers plunged into the Mississippi River and injured at least four employees after a freight train derailed in southwestern Wisconsin. All crew members have been accounted for as the train derailed near the village known as De Soto mostly in Vernon County. BNSF personnel were expected to reach the accident spot to investigate the cause of the incident. The Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers, is said to be closely watching the developments at the scene.
The train was supposed to be carrying hazardous materials, but fortunately none of them were claimed to be in the train cars that went into the river. Some of the containers that derailed onshore contained paint, lithium-ion batteries, and oxygen. The hazardous-materials crews remained onsite as a precaution Thursday evening.
Four people, all crew members, were sent to the hospital for a medical checkup. The main track was blocked from both sides after the incident, with no information on the reopening of the track. Heavy rain has recently created a flood-like situation in parts of the Mississippi River, but the railroad tracks at the site of the derailment remained above water.
The National Transportation Safety Board is collecting information about the derailment. Rock is being brought to the scene from nearby quarries to build a platform on which to remove the train. The oxygen cylinders on the train could pose an explosive threat, but officials were not concerned about this occurrence. Lithium-ion batteries are potentially explosive when they interact with water, however, none of the containers that fell into the water contained it. Diesel fuel from the locomotives did not pose a threat to the public.