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News > U.S.

Union Pacific Train Loaded With Coal Derails in Nebraska

  • Approximately 31 Union Pacific train cars carrying coal derailed. Feb. 21, 2023.

    Approximately 31 Union Pacific train cars carrying coal derailed. Feb. 21, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@RaymondSeow1983

Published 21 February 2023

Police, railroad workers and a hazardous materials' response team were deployed to the scene. 

Early Tuesday morning, a Union Pacific train carrying coal derailed near Gothenburg, Nebraska, the third major train derailment in the Midwest in a matter of weeks.


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The incident occurred in Dawson County, Nebraska, about 4.8 km southeast of Gothenberg, at about 1:45 a.m. According to reports, the derailment affected 31 cars of the Union Pacific train.

Police, railroad workers and a Hazmat response team were deployed to the scene. The cause of the incident is under investigation, Union Pacific said, noting that no people were injured.

Images were taken at the scene show piles of coal and the remains of wrecked railcars on the side of the track. Cleanup vehicles, tractors, railroad workers and an engineering train equipped with a crane were engaged in the cleanup work.

Two other similar incidents have occurred this month. Last Thursday, a Norfolk Southern Railway train derailed near Detroit, Michigan, with no hazardous materials on board.

On February 3, another Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in the Ohio-Pennsylvania border town of East Palestine. This incident contaminated the air and water of the community with potentially carcinogenic chemicals, as it was decided to burn thousands of tons of toxic chemicals on board. 

Local wildlife and farm animals died in droves. Residents were provided with almost no immediate assistance. The possible criminal negligence of railroad, state and federal authorities has sparked outrage in Ohio. 

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