US: Train carrying ethanol derails in Minnesota, forcing locals to flee

Train Derailment in New York City Injures 13 People
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On Thursday, an ethanol-carrying goods train derailed in Raymond, Minnesota, in the United States.

According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train derailment occurred on the western outskirts of Raymond but within city boundaries, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the statement, many of the derailed tankers caught fire and were found to be carrying “a type of ethanol and others with a corn syrup liquid.”

The facility is still operational while the fire is being extinguished. Raymond, a small community of around 800 people in southwest Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, is not recommended for travel.

According to the sheriff’s office, a half-mile (804-meter) evacuation zone was formed around the collision scene, and law enforcement and emergency personnel aided with the evacuation.

People were told to abandon their houses, and an emergency collecting site was set up at a school building in Prinsburg, Minnesota, for those who had nowhere else to go.

BNSF Railway, which manages one of North America’s major freight railway networks, reported on Thursday morning that a train derailed near Raymond at 1:02 a.m. local time.

According to the railroad, about 22 cars carrying mixed freight including ethanol and maize syrup had derailed, with four cars on fire.

There are no additional potentially dangerous chemicals on the train, and no one has been injured as a consequence of the event. BNSF field staff are on the scene assessing the derailment site and collaborating with local first responders.

The main track is closed, and no timetable for restoring the line is provided. The incident’s cause is being investigated.

On Thursday morning, the US National Transportation Safety Board announced the formation of a team to conduct a safety investigation into the Raymond train crash.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz tweeted that he has been informed on the crisis developing in Raymond and is on his way to the derailment scene.

“The state stands ready to protect the health and safety of the community,” Walz said.

Railway derailments are regular in the United States, and an early February event in East Palestine, Ohio, involving a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous goods, drew increased media and public attention.

Between 2005 and 2021, there were an average of 1,475 train derailments each year, according to US Department of Transportation data.