Evacuation order lifted after freight train derails and catches fire in Minnesota

Officials said the BNSF train was carrying ethanol and corn syrup.

An evacuation order has been lifted and residents can return home after a freight train derailed in a fire near a small town in Minnesota early Thursday, the Kandyoh County Sheriff’s Office announced. Residents were evacuated as a precaution.

The incident occurred around 1 am in CT. Several tankers on a train operated by BNSF Railway derailed and caught fire on the western edge of Raymond, a town in southwestern Kandyohee County, Minnesota, with a population of less than 800. syrupy liquid,” according to a press release from the Kandyohi County Sheriff’s Office.

BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent told ABC News that “approximately 22 cars” of the train “carrying a mixed cargo including ethanol and corn syrup” derailed near Raymond at 1:02 a.m. The company, one of the largest freight rail networks in North America, said. According to Kent, the cause of the incident is being investigated and so far, no casualties have been reported.

“PNSF field personnel are responding to assess the derailment location and will work closely with local first responders,” Kent told ABC News in a statement Thursday. “The main track is blocked and an estimated time for reopening the track is not available.”

About 13 trains were loaded with ethanol. FEMA officials said Thursday that four train cars that caught fire contained ethanol.

A half-mile evacuation radius was initially established around the derailment site. Residents within the designated area were “advised to evacuate their homes,” while those with “nowhere else to go” were sent to a school in the nearby town of Princeburg, the Kandyohi County Sheriff’s Office said.

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A road detour will be in place around the scene of the crash, but the sheriff’s office said there was no impact to groundwater. Local responders and BNSF personnel continue to work to mitigate the incident.

The sheriff’s office said the fire at the derailment site is “under control” and the public is advised not to travel to Raymond in the meantime.

Raymond Fire Department dispatched firefighters to the scene, A Facebook registration The evacuation was called “precautionary measures”.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed Twitter account The Federal Railroad Administration “derailed a BNSF train carrying ethanol early this morning, prompting an evacuation in the Raymond, MN area.”

“No injuries or fatalities have been reported at this time,” Buttigieg added. “We are closely monitoring as more details emerge and will continue to investigate.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said it will launch a panel to conduct a safety investigation into Thursday’s derailment. The group was expected to appear in Raymond on Thursday afternoon.

Officials said Homeland Security and Emergency Management are actively monitoring the situation and communicating with local authorities in Raymond. It will send contacts to the incident area.

ABC News’ Sam Sweeney contributed to this report.

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