A BNSF locomotive pulls train cars in Tulare County, California, March 22, 2023 (file image)
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Train carrying ethanol derails and explodes in Minnesota – forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes in middle of night

  • The train derailed in Raymond, Minneapolis, a city with fewer than 800 residents
  • The BNSF train was carrying a mixed freight of both ethanol and corn syrup

A train carrying ethanol has derailed and caught fire in Raymond, Minnesota, forcing nearby residents to evacuate their homes.

Police said the fiery crass happened at approximately 1am CT on Thursday morning when the train derailed in the city of Raymond, around two hours west of Minneapolis.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was carrying a mixed freight including ethanol and corn syrup when it was dislodged from its tracks in the city with fewer than 800 residents.

Emergency personnel were deployed to the scene were approximately 22 rail cars had derailed with many ablaze.

There are no reported injuries as emergency responders continue to contain and quash the fire. 

A BNSF locomotive pulls train cars in Tulare County, California, March 22, 2023 (file image)

A BNSF locomotive pulls train cars in Tulare County, California, March 22, 2023 (file image)

Police quickly established a half-mile evacuation of the area as they dealt with the incident. 

As residents were told to leave their homes, an emergency collection site was opened at the Central Minnesota Christian School in nearby Prinsburg for those with nowhere to go.

This site will be relocated to Unity Church, also in Prinsburg, later in the day.

After arriving to the site, responders discovered that some of the cars were full of ethanol and others corn syrup liquid. 

The blaze is still being contained by emergency responders.

Locals have been warned not to travel to the site or around the city of Raymond as officials deal with the incident.

Nearby Highway 23 has been shut off in both directions between Kandiyohi County Road 1 to Chippewa County Road 1. 

Raymond Fire Department announced on Facebook following the incident: ‘The town is being evacuated for precautionary measures. Residents may go to Prinsburg School for shelter.’ 

BNSF, one of the largest freight railroad networks in the country, said they were investigating the cause of the incident that involved one of their trains.

‘BNSF field personnel are responding to assess the derailment site and will be working closely with local first responders,’ spokesperson for the company Lena Kent told ABC News.

‘The main track is blocked and an estimated time for reopening the line is not available.’ 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also confirmed that officials from the Federal Railroad Administration were at the scene assisting with the response.

‘FRA is on the ground after a BNSF train carrying ethanol derailed early this morning, leading to an evacuation in the area of Raymond, MN,’ Buttigieg said.

‘At present no injuries or fatalities have been reported. We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in investigation.’

Police said more information will be released later today. 

This is a developing news story. Check back for updates later…

Source: DailyMail UK

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