Buffalo County sheriff's Chief Deputy Colin Severson said the derailment occurred west of the intersection of Highways 35 and I in the Alma city limits, about a half-mile north of the Highway 37/?35 intersection.
"There was a voluntary evacuation that was done of the scene," Severson
"Up to 150 residents were evacuated, voluntarily, for safety reasons.
It is normal protocol, until it is deemed to be safe."
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was southbound when it derailed.
wasn't sure how fast the train was traveling through the corridor, which crosses over the Mississippi River.
"Some (train cars) are upright, some are sideways, in the water," Severson
said there was no indication of any fires or any spillage into the river.
"You never know when (a derailment) involves water," he
didn't know how many people were on the train, but he
added that no injuries were reported.
Highway 35 was closed for several hours while officials from the state Department of Natural Resources checked the site, he
"With an incident of this magnitude, we had to take the safest route (and close roads)," Severson
Cleanup vehicles had arrived by mid-afternoon, but Severson
wasn't sure how quickly the train could be lifted back onto the tracks and removed.
"They are working on stabilizing the cars and cleaning it up," Severson