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Fire departments and Hazmat teams from around Madison and St. Clair County, including the Wood River Fire Chief and at least one member of the team at Phillips 66, responded to a large fire and train derailment in Dupo Tuesday afternoon. According to Union Pacific Railroad, a fire began when a tank car caught fire. That tank car contained a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone, typically used as a solvent.
The derailment occurred at the railroad’s Dupo Yard near Carondelet Avenue at about 12:45pm. The nearby area, including local schools, homes and apartments were evacuated for several hours. More than a dozen cars derailed but no injuries were reported. Smoke from the derailment and fire could be seen for several miles around until around 3pm. The Wood River Fire Chief and a representative from the refinery are on scene as consultants, apparently due to their expertise in fighting these kinds of fires. The cause remains under investigation.