No injuries, hazardous spills in 10-car train derailment in northern Minnesota, officials say

No one was injured and no hazardous material spilled when 10 Canadian National Railway cars derailed in northern Minnesota, officials there said.

The derailment happened just before 8:30 p.m. Monday in a rural, unpopulated area about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of Cook, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who responded found five of the derailed cars had tipped over, while the others remained upright.

Two of the cars contained liquefied propane and butane, but none appeared to have spilled, both the sheriff’s office and Canadian Railway said.

The sheriff’s office originally reported that nine cars had derailed, but Canadian Railway spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said Tuesday that 10 cars had derailed. The cause of the derailment in being investigated, Abecassis said, and cleanup was continuing Tuesday. Abecassis said he could not give an estimate of when the rail line would reopen to traffic.

“We would like to apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to local residents,” the railroad said in a statement.

This derailment comes less than four months after a BNSF train derailed in southwest Minnesota and forced the evacuation of a small town after several ethanol cars leaked and caught fire. That March 30 crash caused roughly $1.9 million damage to the tracks and rail equipment and forced about 800 people in Raymond to leave their homes for several hours.

Railroad safety has been a concern nationwide after several derailments in recent months, including a fiery February train wreck near East Palestine, Ohio. Congress is considering several new safety requirements for freight railroads, which have already committed to making some changes in their operations. Federal regulators have also urged railroads to take additional precautions to prevent derailments.

Credit: MGN

Kehinde Olusegun

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