A train derailment early this morning (Thursday) forced evacuations in the small town of Raymond, Minnesota, about 90 miles west of the Twin Cities.
The Kandiyohi (candy-oh-high) County Sheriff’s Office said that its dispatch center got a 911 call about 1 a.m. reporting a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train had derailed on the western edge of town. Emergency crews responded and found what were described as multiple train cars off the tracks.
The sheriff’s office said that firefighters from Raymond and surrounding communities responded to the derailment and that a fire started among tank cars off the tracks.
A statement from the railroad said that 22 cars had gone off the tracks. The train had been carrying what the railroad described as “mixed freight.” When asked if there were any hazardous materials on the train, BNSF said only that the derailed cars were carrying ethanol and corn syrup.
The sheriff’s office said authorities ordered homes within a half-mile of the derailment evacuated and established an initial shelter at a school in nearby Prinsburg. The sheriff’s office said that the situation remained active as crews fought the fire.
The railroad reported no injuries as a result of the derailment. Local authorities said fire crews had been working at the scene for hours, but also reported no injuries.
Minnesota Highway 23 was also closed in the area.