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Evacuation order ended after train carrying ethanol derails

A BNSF Railway train derailed, causing a fire and prompting evacuations in Raymond, Minnesota.
A BNSF train.
Posted at 8:54 AM, Mar 30, 2023

The Federal Railroad Administration is assisting with a BNSF Railway derailment in Raymond, Minnesota, that caused some nearby residents to evacuate for several hours Thursday morning.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said no injuries have been reported. He added that the train was carrying ethanol at the time of the derailment. 

In an interview with CNN, Buttigieg said 14 of the 40 cars contained hazardous materials. 

"The most important thing for anyone in the affected area to know is that you've got to pay close attention to any instructions coming from first responders regarding the evacuation or anything else that local officials are telling you that is for your safety to make sure that no one is injured," Buttigieg said.

BNSF Railway said the derailment was reported at 1:02 a.m. local time Thursday.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said in a news release residents with a half-mile of the derailment have been evacuated. By noon, authorities lifted the evacuation order.

The sheriff's office added that there is no impact to local drinking water. The track remained closed as of early Thursday afternoon.

The town has a population of 782 residents. 

The derailment took place hours before members of Ohio's congressional delegation were to submit proposed rail safety legislation in the wake of last month's derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. That derailment prompted environmental concerns after chemicals were released into the air in hopes of preventing an explosion. 

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The railroad industry as a whole is facing intense scrutiny by the government and the public since the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.