A heat wave that scorched the Plains on Thursday for the sixth straight day derailed a freight train with rail-warping temperatures of 112 degrees and felled cattle in their pens.
At least seven heat-related deaths were reported as the heat moved eastward. It was expected to stay the weekend over the eastern half of the nation.
Parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois neared 100 degrees.
The Washington Monument was closed Thursday for the first time ever, because the air conditioning system failed and temperatures reached over 100 inside.
Near Nebraska City, Neb., 15 cars of a 98-car freight train derailed Wednesday. No one was hurt. Union Pacific spokesman John Bromley said the rail “kinks” or buckles when it gets too hot.
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