Railroad acknowledges Iowa derailment was flood related

DOON, Iowa (AP) — BNSF Railway has acknowledged flooding played a role in a derailment that loosed thousands of gallons of oil into northwest Iowa floodwaters.

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said Friday that the derailment was "flood related" but declined to say whether the train engineer knew or should have known about washed-out tracks mentioned in a preliminary federal report released Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board report cited heavy rainfall in the area 48 hours before the June 22 derailment just south of Doon, Iowa. The report says the rain and runoff washed out track and flooded a tributary of the nearby Little Rock River. The report stopped short of saying the flooding caused the 32-car derailment.

The federal report also says the train was moving at 48 mph (77 kph) — just below the authorized speed for that stretch.