By Kerri Rempp Record Editor

A small plane has crashed west of Chadron this afternoon, and emergency responders were tasked with responding to a train derailment and an associated fire in the same vicinity a short time later.

The plane crash was reported at 2:28 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Chadron Dispatch Center. Not even 30 minutes later, at 2:55 p.m. an emergency call came in for a train derailment and a small fire.

Law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel were still on the scene of the plane crash at 5 p.m. It appears a small plane crashed in a field in clearing of trees.

Alyssa Rasmussen, who lives on West Dakota Junction Road, was at home when the plane flew overhead.

“I heard the plane coming over the house and then it kind of sputtered. I thought ‘oh my, they must have lost their engine.’ I looked out but I couldn’t see anything,” she said.

The derailment affected two engines on the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad train headed west of Dakota Junction. A U.S. Forest Service truck remained on scene there around 4:30 p.m. Chadron Fire Chief Jack Rhembrandt said the fire burned about an acre before it was put out.

In addition to the Chadron Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service, emergency vehicles and personnel from the Dawes County Sheriff Office, Chadron Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol were all seen in the areas of the incidents.