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Fiery Train Derailment Sparks Evacuation, Officials Rush to Address 'Hazardous Material Situation'

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A train hauling ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in Minnesota early Thursday and nearby residents were ordered to evacuate their homes, authorities said.

The BNSF train derailed in the town of Raymond, roughly 100 miles west of Minneapolis, about 1 a.m., according to a statement from Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Tollefson.

The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from BNSF officials and with Tollefson.

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The train “had numerous rail cars derail” and several caught fire, Tollefson said.

Homes in an area 1/2 mile around the site were evacuated, according to Tollefson, and residents were taken to a shelter in nearby Prinsburg.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that about 14 cars were carrying hazardous materials, including ethanol.

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“We’ve been in touch with the governor,” said Buttigieg, the former mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana, adding that Environmental Protection Agency officials were en route to the site “given the hazardous material situation.”

Buttigieg said he has received no reports of deaths or injuries due to the derailment.

Railroad safety has been in the spotlight nationally ever since last month’s fiery derailment of a Norfolk Southern train near East Palestine, Ohio.

Roughly half of that town of about 5,000 people near the Pennsylvania border had to be evacuated after officials decided to release and burn toxic chemicals.

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Federal regulators and members of Congress have proposed reforms they want made to prevent future derailments.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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