UPDATE: Train derailed after hitting safety device - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Train derailed after hitting safety device

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Dyersville (KWWL) -- A train derailed in Dyersville this morning leaving an engine and six cars filled with ethanol off the tracks. There were no injuries, and no ethanol leaked from the cars.

Around 6 a.m., workers at VeraSun ethanol plant were loading up train cars with ethanol. Plant officials say the train then went too far, derailing about a half mile from the plant on the company's private tracks.

"We responded. Did not see any spills. There's actually no leakage, no injuries," Assistant Chief Al Wessels said. The Dyersville Fire Department was on the scene for three hours.

Some officials have called this a runaway train though VeraSun can't confirm that.

Darrell Smith worked on Iowa railroads for years. He stopped by the tracks to check things out.

"As far as that derailment, it done what it was supposed to do. Exactly," Smith said.

Smith said this is ideally how a derailment should happen. The train actually went off into the ditch instead of coming onto the mainline when it derailed. VeraSun officials say that's how the track is designed, with a safety feature called a "derail" or "derailer". Officials say the train hit the derailer just before the track joins with the Canadian National mainline.

"They set up a special switch there that'll run whatever comes down that track into the ditch. So it doesn't come onto the mainline and end up colliding with a freight or in case at this crossing a car might be coming...Nothing, no warning...Boom! Hit the car," Smith said.

VeraSun officials say the cars will be unloaded at the plant and then inspected. They are investigating what caused the train to come too far down the tracks. The CN mainline is still running.

Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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