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Derailed train in Polk County leaked octane after accident

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, multiple train cars came off the tracks around 5:30 on Christmas morning.

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Two derailed tank cars in Polk County leaked octane, a gasoline additive. Hazmat teams were on the ground to stop the leaks, according to a spokesperson with Union Pacific Railroads. 

UP reported the derailment of its 108 cars and three locomotives, which were headed to Des Moines, to the Polk County dispatchers at about 5:30 a.m. Christmas morning. UP said the cars were carrying lumber, liquid petroleum gas, octane, and soybean meal. 

At 11 a.m., the Polk County Sheriff's Office said fire personnel informed them there was a propane leak. A spokesperson with Union Pacific Railroads told Local 5 the valves on the cars carrying liquid petroleum gas are made to slowly release the gas after a crash to reduce pressure. 

UP later told Local 5, however, information it gave on leaking propane was incorrect. In fact, the leak was octane, a gasoline additive. UP said crews will remove the octane from the tank cars before removing the cars. 

According to the sheriff's office, a small bridge north of NE 102nd Ave. collapsed, causing an estimated 25 train cars to come off the tracks.

Several agencies were on the scene investigating, including Union Pacific Railroad employees and the Polk County Sheriff's Office. UP said it is "assessing the situation" to ensure something like this does not happen again. 

No injuries were reported, said Sgt. Ryan Evans, Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

The Elkhart Fire Department, Ankeny Fire Department and the Des Moines Fire Department Hazmat team were on the scene to handle any issues with hazardous materials, according to the sheriff's office. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been notified of the derailment. 

This is a developing story. Local 5's Khalil Maycock is on his way to the scene. Stay with Local 5 as we learn more about this incident. 

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