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Crews monitoring Mississippi River for contamination after Dubuque train derailment

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A fire that began when a train hauling ethanol derailed near Dubuque, Iowa finally burned out 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.  Out of 81 cars on the train, more than a dozen went off the tracks.

Canadian Pacific crews were working Thursday to drain ethanol from the derailed cars before moving them, according to spokesperson Andy Cummings.

As of 4 p.m. three derailed cars were still sitting on the frozen Mississippi River.  Cummings said Canadian Pacific did verify that some ethanol had reached the water, but they did not yet know how much.

“We take our commitment to the environment very seriously, and are closely monitoring the impact at the site as well as downstream to determine what remediation will be needed,” Cummings said.

Canadian Pacific, the Iowa DNR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established 40 separate monitoring sites at 1-mile increments along the river that will be able to detect any ethanol in the water, according to Cummings.