Train carrying hazardous cargo derails in northwestern Minnesota
(KSTP) – Officials say a train derailed Wednesday near Lancaster, Minnesota, less than 20 miles south of the Canadian border.
Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern confirmed 24 freight cars derailed around 4:30 p.m. about 4 miles south of Lancaster in an unpopulated area of Kittson County.
Some of the cars contained hazardous materials, but so far, there is no sign of leakage, a railroad spokesperson said.
No injuries have been reported, and CPKC noted the derailment did not happen near any bodies of water and that none of the wreckage had combusted.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed off Highway 59 south of Lancaster while cleanup efforts continued. MnDOT estimated the closure could last up to three days.
5/31- 6:30 p.m.: MnDOT closed Hwy 59 S of Lancaster due to a train derailment. Detour-Hwy 175/Kittson CR 5. The hwy will remain closed to allow local responders, rail inspectors and cleanup crews to continue their work, which could take 2-3 days. https://t.co/UFdauSYs6x— MnDOT District 2 (@MnDOTnorthwest) May 31, 2023
Gov. Tim Walz wrote on social media that state officials are coordinating with local authorities to handle the situation.
“Glad to hear that no injuries are reported and the site is contained,” Walz said. “Experts are on the way to survey the site and make sure the community has everything they need.”
State officials are working with local emergency managers after a train derailed near Lancaster. Glad to hear that no injuries are reported and the site is contained. Experts are on the way to survey the site and make sure the community has everything they need.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) June 1, 2023
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) said Thursday it is investigating the derailment.
Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar issued the statement below Thursday morning regarding the derailment, thanking first responders and noting legislation she cosponsored following the derailment in East Palestine earlier this year:
“Thank you to the local and state emergency management personnel who responded to the train derailment outside Lancaster. While I’m relieved to hear that there were no injuries and there’s no danger to residents at this time, families shouldn’t have to worry that a possible derailment could put them and their community in harm’s way. It’s past time to put in place stronger rail safety standards and more accountability for violations. That’s why I am a cosponsor of the bipartisan Railway Safety Act and I’m working with my colleagues to make sure it becomes law.”Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)