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Fire from derailed train allowed to burn itself out near Dubuque

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Fire, that started when train cars carrying ethanol derailed near Dubuque, Iowa, was allowed to continue to burn the day after the derailment.

Cars and engines derailed on an eastbound Canadian Pacific train just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 4, 2015, in a remote location between Wahpeton and Finleys Landing according to several media reports. The train had a total of 81 cars according to Reuters; thirteen cars and two locomotives reportedly went off the tracks according to a Thursday update from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

Some of the derailed cars reportedly slid into the Mississippi River, which runs parallel to the tracks, and fire burned where the train derailed. Three of the derailed cars reportedly caught fire, and at least one car was still burning at 7 a.m. Thursday, February 5.

Firefighters had to use snowmobiles to get to the scene, and Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines said difficult access led them to decide to let the fire burn itself out.  Steines anticipated firefighters and cleanup crews would be at the derailment location for days.

No injuries were reported.