BNSF train carrying ethanol in Minnesota derails and catches fire, forcing evacuations in small town
Burlington Northern Santa Fe says 22 cars from train have come off the tracks in Raymond
A Minnesota town outside of Minneapolis has been ordered to evacuate Thursday morning after a train carrying "a form of ethanol" and "a corn syrup liquid" derailed and caught on fire, police say.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway told FOX Business that its train came off the tracks near Raymond around 1 a.m. local time and no injuries were reported.
"Fire departments from Raymond and numerous area departments responded as several of the derailed tankers started on fire and were determined to be carrying a form of ethanol and others with a corn syrup liquid," the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
"An evacuation area of ½ mile was established around the crash site and law enforcement officers and other EMS assisted with that evacuation," the statement continued. "Residents were instructed to leave their homes and an emergency collection site for those with nowhere to go was established at the Central Minnesota Christian School building in nearby Prinsburg, Minnesota."
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Police say the fire is still in the process of being contained Thursday morning and "no travel is advised to the city of Raymond."
Raymond has a population of around 780, according to census data.
BNSF said "Approximately 22 cars carrying mixed freight including ethanol and corn syrup are reported to be derailed.
"BNSF field personnel are responding to assess the derailment site and will be working closely with local first responders," it added, noting that the "main track is blocked and an estimated time for reopening the line is not available."
The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear.
It happened after a train operated by the Canadian National Railway Company derailed near Pittsburgh on Wednesday and follows Norfolk Southern's Ohio derailment that spewed toxic chemicals into the community of East Palestine sparking outage from residents and calls from lawmakers for tighter safety standards.
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In that incident, a CN spokesperson told FOX Business that "15 railcars containing iron ore derailed" near Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.
"There are no dangerous goods on the train and there are no fires or injuries," their statement added.
The cause of that incident remains under investigation as well.
On Sunday, a train operated by Canadian Pacific derailed in a suburb of Chicago.
Two of the train’s cars came off the tracks around 12:45 p.m. Sunday in Franklin Park, which is about four miles south of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
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The company said in a statement to Fox32Chicago that one of the derailed cars was carrying wheat while the other was empty.
"The train was wobbling a bit. We heard loud noises, banging, crashing," Tyler Verschelden, a witness, told the station.
FOX Business' Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.