Fiery Minnesota Train Derailment Prompts Evacuations (Update)
Update 3/30 10:45 a.m.: Raymond, MN (KROC-AM News)-Federal and state agencies are on the scene of a train derailment that occured in west-central Minnesota's Kandiyohi County early Thursday morning.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office says deputies responded to the BNSF derailment around 1 a.m. in the City of Raymond. Officials evacuated a half-mile radius around the derailment site as crews fought a fire fueled by a form of ethanol being carries on the derailed train.
A statement released Thursday morning by BNSF indicates approximately 22 cars were involved in the derailment. Officials say the train was not transporting hazardous materials and no injuries were reported.
Officials from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office,Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency and the Federal Railroad Administration responded to the derailment. Gov. Tim Walz also visited the derailment site.
During a news conference at a shelter set up for displaced residents, officials said evacuees will be allowed to return to their homes Thursday morning. MnDOT says Hwy. 23, which runs through the 800-person town of Raymond remained closed as of 10:45 a.m.
Previous Version: Raymond, MN (KROC-AM News)- Authorities have ordered evacuations for a small town in west-central Minnesota following a train derailment early Thursday morning.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were notified of a BNSF train derailment around 1 a.m. Emergency responders arrived at the scene and found several derailed tanker cars had caught on fire.
Officials say the derailment occurred in the western outskirts of the City of Raymond, which is about 13 miles southwest of Willmar. Authorities then evacuated homes that are within a half-mile radius of the derailment.
Evacuated residents with nowhere to go were sent to a shelter set up in Prinsburg, which is about 8 miles south of Raymond. Fire departments from Raymond and surrounding towns responded to fight the tanker car fire.
Officials say the cars were carrying a form of ethanol and a corn syrup liquid. Authorities say the fire was contained but the derailment site remains active.
As of 6:15 a.m. Hwy. 23 through Raymond was closed in both directions. Officials plan to release more information on the derailment when a BNSF staff arrive at the scene.