Fiery train derailment in Minnesota prompts evacuations
Mar 30, 2023, 5:47 AM | Updated: 6:23 am
A train hauling ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in Minnesota early Thursday and nearby residents were ordered to evacuate their homes, authorities said.
The BNSF train derailed in the town of Raymond, roughly 100 miles (161 kilometers) west of Minneapolis, about 1 a.m., according to a statement from Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Tollefson.
The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from BNSF officials and with Tollefson.
The train “had numerous rail cars derail” and several caught fire, Tollefson said. Homes in an area 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometers) around the site were evacuated, according to Tollefson, and residents were taken to a shelter in nearby Prinsburg.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that about 14 cars were carrying hazardous materials, including ethanol.
“We’ve been in touch with the governor,” Buttigieg said, and Environmental Protection Agency officials were en route to the site “given the hazardous material situation.”
Buttigieg said he has received no reports of deaths or injuries due to the derailment.
Railroad safety has been in the spotlight nationally ever since last month’s fiery derailment of a Norfolk Southern train near East Palestine, Ohio. Roughly half of that town of about 5,000 people near the Pennsylvania border had to be evacuated after officials decided to release and burn toxic chemicals.