Lithium-ion batteries cause fire and explosion aboard UP train

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HOUSTON — A 53-foot intermodal container aboard a Union Pacific train caught fire and exploded April 23 just north of downtown Houston.

Local media reported that the container was carrying lithium-ion batteries in a train from the port of New Orleans to San Antonio, Texas. No one was injured, but the blast blew out windows in nearby homes and businesses. One report said the batteries were headed for a recycling center.

UP spokesman Jeffrey DeGraff told local media that personnel on the ground noticed smoke coming from the box about 6 p.m., and notified the train's conductor. He stopped the train, inspected, and called emergency crews. Firefighters took two hours to extinguish the blaze.

DeGraff said that the batteries were not considered hazardous material. He did not return calls from Trains News Wire requesting additional information.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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