Hundreds of Minnesotans evacuated as a 40-car train containing hazardous materials including DERAILS ethanol caught fire – Pete Buttigieg says he’s watching ‘closely’
- The train derailed in Raymond, Minneapolis, a city of fewer than 800 residents
- The BNSF train was carrying a mixed cargo of ethanol and corn syrup
A train carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire in Raymond, Minnesota, forcing nearby residents to evacuate their homes.
Police said the firestorm occurred around 1 a.m. Thursday when the train derailed in Raymond City, about two hours west of Minneapolis.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was carrying mixed freight including ethanol and corn syrup when it was derailed in the city of fewer than 800 residents.
Emergency personnel were deployed to the scene as approximately 22 railroad cars derailed with many catching fire.
No injuries were reported as emergency responders continue to contain and extinguish the fire.
A BNSF locomotive pulls train cars in Tulare County, California, March 22, 2023 (file photo)
Police quickly cleared the area a half mile away as they dealt with the incident.
When residents were told to leave their homes, an emergency collection site was opened at Central Minnesota Christian School in nearby Princeburg for those with nowhere to go.
This site will be moved to Unity Church, also in Princeburg, later in the day.
After arriving at the site, the respondents discovered that some of the cars were filled with ethanol and others with liquid corn syrup.
Emergency responders are still containing the fire.
Local residents have been warned not to travel to the site or around the city of Raymond as officials are dealing with the incident.
Nearby Highway 23 has been closed in both directions between Kandiyohi County Road 1 to Chippewa County Road 1.
The Raymond Fire Department announced on Facebook following the incident: “The town is being evacuated for precautionary measures. Residents can go to the Princeburg School for shelter.
BNSF, one of the country’s largest freight rail networks, said it was investigating the cause of the accident involving one of its trains.
“BNSF field personnel are responding to the assessment of the aberration site and will work closely with local first responders,” said company spokesperson Lena Kent. hv news.
“The main route is blocked and the estimated time to reopen the line is not available.”
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also confirmed that officials from the Federal Railroad Administration were on site to assist with the response.
“FRA is on the ground after a BNSF train carrying ethanol derailed early this morning, causing the Raymond, Minnesota area to be evacuated,” Buttigieg said.
At the moment, there are no reports of injuries or deaths. We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in the investigation.
Police said more information would be released later in the day.
This is a developing news story. Check back for updates later…