Created: May 16, 2021 10:41 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- It's been more than 24 hours since a 50-car train derailment in Albert Lea.
On Sunday, crews are still working to clean up the area and investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the crash, "Right by my house, I saw these box cars almost jump off the track," witness Rodney Pollard said.
The train derailment in Albert Lea is leaving many people near Hawthorne Street and Ulsted Avenue shocked.
Rodney Pollard lives by where the derailment occurred. He says the crash sounded like a tornado, ripping through metal, "I went down there and it was bad and told us to stay away because of the smell of the chemicals," Pollard said.
That's what officials are still trying to figure out at this hour, what caused this?
"There's no threat to the public," Rich Hall, emergency management director for the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office said. Hall says investigators are on the scene from the railroad authority and Union Pacific. He says, overnight Saturday, they removed 8 cars from the track and they're trying to get to the two cars that spilled hydrochloric acid. Crews are currently working to pump that material out of the two cars to store into containers. Hall says it's possible the hydrochloric acid went into Goose Lake and Union Pacific officials are on the scene to make sure contaminants don't get into the air, "Union Pacific Railroad has got three different air monitoring systems setup and are watching those close," Hall said.
Hall says the biggest takeaway from this is how no one was injured, "Nobody was injured and now we need to move onto mitigation and recovery," Hall said.
Crews will continue to clean up debris and the spill overnight. Officials say they hope to know more about what caused this derailment Monday.
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