Ethanol train derails, evacuates troops in western Minnesota: NPR

A BNSF train carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in the west-central Minnesota town of Raymond Thursday morning. Residents living near the tracks were evacuated around midnight.

David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images


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David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images

A BNSF train carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in the west-central Minnesota town of Raymond Thursday morning. Residents living near the tracks were evacuated around midnight.

David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images

A train carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire on the western side The crash prompted the evacuation of residents near the scene of the crash in Raymond, Minnesota, on Thursday morning.

The Kandyohi County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the derailment around 1 a.m. local time. According to a report. The BNSF-operated train derailed on the western edge of Raymond but remained within city limits.

Twenty-two cars carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed and four caught fire, BNSF said in a statement to NPR. About 10 coaches were found to have ethanol, a railway official said. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

“There were no other hazardous materials on board the train and no injuries were reported as a result of the incident,” the railways said.

Authorities established a half-mile evacuation zone around the crash site, and law enforcement officers and other emergency responders assisted, the sheriff’s office said. Residents with nowhere else to go went to an emergency collection site in nearby Minnsburg, Minn.

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Raymond has a population of about 900 and is about 100 miles west of Minneapolis.

“The site remains active as the fire is extinguished,” the sheriff’s office said. BNSF personnel are on site and working with first responders.

The main line is blocked and it’s unclear when it will reopen, BNSF said.

Mayor and Assistant Fire Chief Ardell Denson told member station Minnesota Public Radio The derailment was so loud that some firefighters heard the cars crash together on the tracks. Firefighters allowed some ethanol to burn, but by 6 a.m. local time, most of the fire was out.

“We didn’t know they were going to explode,” Denson said, which is why the city decided to evacuate nearby residents.

Officials hope residents will be able to return to their homes by next day, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walls said at a news conference in Raymond Thursday morning.

The cleanup will take several days and will begin once the National Transportation Safety Board gives the railroad permission, BNSF officials said at the briefing.

Walls said the derailed cars were “sophisticated” and designed to not explode.

BNSF officials said residents may notice the expansion as cars are moved during the cleanup process, but not to panic.

“There are always lessons learned here,” Walls said. “There will be time to find out what caused it.”

American Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said The Federal Railroad Administration is in Raymond and will be involved in the investigation.

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Earlier this month, another BNSF train carrying corn syrup derailed in Arizona. Two derailments Two high-profile Norfolk Southern derailments — one involving a train carrying toxic chemicals near East Palestine, Ohio, and the other involving no toxic chemicals in Ohio.

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