Train carrying ethanol derails and catches on fire sparking evacuation for residents in Minnesota city
A train carrying ethanol derailed and several cars erupted in flames, early Thursday, sparking an evacuation for residents living near the crash site in Raymond, Minnesota, officials said.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office was notified about the train derailment around 1 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET.)
Around 22 rail cars “carrying mixed freight including ethanol and corn syrup” were reported to have derailed, BNSF Railway said in a statement.
Several of the derailed tanks caught on fire, the sheriff’s office said.
An evacuation area within a half a mile around the crash site was established and law enforcement officers and EMS personnel assisted with evacuating the area.
No injuries were reported as a result of the incident and the cause of the derailment is under investigation, BNSF Railway said in a statement. Due the accident, the main track is blocked and it’s not clear when it’ll reopen, the company said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said Highway 23 is temporarily closed at Raymond from Kandiyohi CR 1 to Chippewa CR 1 due to the derailment.
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted that Federal Railroad Administration is on the ground in Raymond after the train derailment.
“At present no injuries or fatalities have been reported. We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in the investigation,” he said.
The derailment comes after a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed on Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio.
That derailment led officials to conduct an intentional burn of toxic chemicals in some of the derailed cars to prevent an explosion. The crash prompted an evacuation of about half the town’s roughly 5,000 residents, a multiagency emergency response and lingering worries among residents about long-term health impacts.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.