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FULL REPORT: Train wreck spills tons of soda ash near American Falls


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AMERICAN FALLS — Emergency crews are hard at work cleaning up tons of soda ash that spilled near American Falls after a 31-car train wreck on Wednesday.

The Union Pacific freight train was traveling on the Nampa subdivision rail line, near Fish Hatchery Road when it wrecked at about 7:15 a.m. The derailment occurred about 100 yards west of a rail road crossing.

No one was injured and the cause of the crash is under investigation, Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries said.

Union Pacific officials told the cars were loaded with soda ash, which spilled along the crash site. The substance, a white powder used as a water softener and to make glass, is not considered hazardous to humans unless it seeps into the waterways.

“We have a hazmat team on the site, because if it gets into the water it could get contaminated,” Union Pacific spokesman Francisco Castillo told”We are watching it closely, and at this time there are no waterways that have been affected.”


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Mike Moran /

Union Pacific Rail Road workers, Idaho Power, Idaho Fish and Game, the Power County Sheriff’s office and emergency personnel are on scene.

Castillo estimates the clean up could take several days or more to finish. People are asked to avoid the area while efforts are made to clean up the spill.


Nate Eaton /


Mike Moran /


Mike Moran /


Mike Moran /


Mike Moran /