Railcar carrying toxic chemicals explodes in North Platte, evacuation order lifted

Railcar fire contained, evacuation order lifted
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 1:32 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The evacuation order due to toxic smoke from a railcar explosion at Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte has been lifted. Highway 30 between Hershey and North Platte is back open.

According to Union Pacific Railroad, around noon Thursday, an explosion occurred inside a container, resulting in several railcars catching on fire. UP said there was no derailment and the car had been stationary in the yard for a couple hours.

UP said a container that caught fire had a hazardous chemical called perchloric acid.

The North Platte Fire Department evacuated people near the explosion due to toxic smoke. The evacuation order was lifted around 5:20 p.m.

No Union Pacific personnel were injured.

The cause is under investigation.

UP said perchloric acid is used for a number of things, including food, drug and biocidal products, as well as explosives.

If you have video of the fire, safely upload it here.