Train derailment, spill prompts evacuations in Minnesota

Markets Associated Press

A Union Pacific train derailment and hazardous chemical spill has prompted evacuations in the small southern Minnesota town of Ellendale and the closure of a state highway.

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No injuries have been reported.

Authorities described the evacuations as precautionary. The Red Cross is helping residents move to a church. About 700 people live in the town 80 miles south of the Twin Cities.

The school district canceled classes for the day.

Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele and Administrator Laura Elvebak say an unknown number of cars on the 146-car train derailed about 5:45 a.m. Friday, about half a mile south of Ellendale. Two were carrying propane and butane.

The state Transportation Department says Highway 30 is closed in the area until cleanup is complete. Hazardous materials crews are at the scene.