A freight train towing thousands of gallons of ethyl alcohol crashed and exploded in Rockford, Illinois, some 80 miles outside of Chicago.
According to the federal National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”), the cause of the train’s derailment is uncertain at this point, and a thorough investigation into the train crash may take more than a year to complete.
Early reports suggest that the train tracks were washed out following heavy rain in the area in the preceding days, but these reports are unconfirmed.
The explosion of the ethanol tanks resulted in the death of one woman as she attempted to flee the area of the train accident.
Several hundred people were evacuated from the area of the explosion accident, some of whom sustained severe burn injuries from the blast.
Those injured were transported to the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center emergency room to receive treatment for their personal injuries.
NTSB will continue to investigate the train crash and the resulting explosion, with particular focus on the integrity of the 18 ethanol tanks.
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