BOONE, Iowa — More than 200 teen-agers were evacuated today from a summer camp because of toxic chemicals spilled into the Des Moines River by a train blown off a 190-foot-high bridge by 60-m.p.h. winds, officials said.
"All indications are the train was hit by extremely high winds or a tornado," Chicago & Northwestern Vice President Jim Foote said. None of the train's four crew members were injured, he said.
Eighteen cars of the 31-car westbound train jumped the tracks about 11 p.m. Monday, and 15 plunged to the central Iowa river. It was not until early today that authorities learned that at least one car contained toxic chemicals.
State officials do not know what chemicals leaked or what environmental danger they pose, said Jerry Mathiason, an aide to Gov. Terry Branstad.