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UPDATE: Crews continue Mitigation Procedures following McPherson Train Derailment


MCPHERSON, Kan. (UPDATE: 9/13/23, 10:46 a.m.) – Work continues following a train derailment and grass fire that occurred Sunday morning on the south side of McPherson.

At approximately 9:42 a.m., McPherson Fire Department was dispatched to the 1200 Block of South Main Street for a small grass fire. Upon arrival, crews discovered the fire caused by a train derailment.

The fire was quickly extinguished, and crews began mitigation procedures for the train derailment. Crews discovered thirteen cars had derailed. Two of those rail cars were leaking denatured alcohol.

Crews worked diligently through Sunday night and mitigated 1nos1 of the hazmat potential lessening the risk to the environment. It’s anticipated that emergency personnel will remain on the scene for most of Monday as hazmat response continues clean-up efforts. Union Pacific can begin removing rail cars once the hazmat potential is alleviated.

McPherson Fire Department ensures citizens that there is no risk to the community at this time and that all roads are open for normal traffic. Citizens are also asked to avoid the area, as there are many agencies working diligently on the scene. Continued updates will be provided as needed.


MCPHERSON, Kan. – A train derailment involving 12 Union Pacific cars occurred Sunday morning inside the CHS McPherson refinery complex.

According to McPherson County Emergency Management Director Julie McClure, 911 dispatched crews at 9:42 a.m. to the report of a small grass fire in the 1200 block of South Main St. McClure said that while there was leakage as a result of the derailment, it posed no threat to the community.

A hazardous materials team responded to the site early Sunday afternoon. McPherson Fire Chief TJ Wyssman reported at a Sunday evening media briefing that crews were able to contain the product and keep it from getting into Bull Creek.

In an email, Union Pacific spokesperson Daryl Bjoraas told Ad Astra News that two cars carrying alcohol were involved in the derailment. Bjoraas said that no injuries were reported.

In addition to McPherson Fire and CHS personnel, McPherson Police and EMS along with McPherson County Sheriff’s deputies and Emergency Management also responded.

Main Street, which is the US 81 business route, remains closed from Iron Horse Road at the refinery’s main entrance to Avenue E. Access will remain open to Kids Kampus Day Care, and maps of detours will be posted on social media.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.