One person was injured, but there was no danger to the public as the result of tank rail cars that derailed shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday near the crossing of 9th and Milner streets.
There were no releases from the four Union Pacific Railroad cars loaded with alcohol, according to Raquel Espinoza, a spokeswoman in Omaha for Omaha-based Union Pacific Railroad.
"One employee was treated and released at Hays Medical Center," said Espinoza in an email to The Hays Daily News.
Officials at the scene indicated the alcohol cars may have come out of Russell, where there is an ethanol plant, but that could not be confirmed. The train originated in Salina and consisted of two locomotives and 71 rail cars, said Espinoza.
"A cause has not been determined and we continue investigating the accident," said Espinoza in the email.
A contractor out of Nebraska with Cranemaster equipment and a crew of about a dozen workers was on hand Monday to get the tank cars upright and back on the tracks.
On Sunday evening after the wreck, City of Hays Finance Director Kim Rupp was on the scene as a spokesman and explained that three tanker cars were lying on their side off the tracks, and one remained on the tracks leaning a little in the aftermath.
“The tanker cars do contain ethanol, however there’s no hazard to the public, they’re not leaking at this time,” Rupp said.
City police and fire officials learned of the derailment Sunday afternoon when Union Pacific officials contacted 9-1-1 dispatch, he said.
As a precaution, there was some limited housing evacuation in the immediate vicinity, Rupp said. Those residents were allowed to go back home around 7:15 p.m. Rupp said he didn’t have any information as to why the cars derailed.