Train derailment south of Moran sparks big fire

Flames and smoke from burning boxcars containing ethanol alcohol attached to a Union Pacific train are seen south of Moran Monday, May 23, 2011. There were no injuries in the derailment, which prompted officials to close a 23-mile stretch of U.S. 59 south of Moran.

? Firefighters continue to battle a blaze in southeast Kansas that erupted when 32 cars of a Union Pacific train derailed.

A 23-miles stretch of U.S. 59 is closed after the derailment early Monday about 5 miles south of Moran. No injuries were reported.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said the train, traveling between Kansas City and Fort Worth, Texas, included three cars that contained ethalene, a liquefied flammable gas. They started a fire that was being fed by plastic pellets in other cars, he said.

He said rail traffic will be diverted to other lines until cleanup is complete, and he didn’t know when that would be.

As a precaution about three homes near the rural accident site were evacuated. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.