Train Carrying Flammable Hazardous Material Derails, Triggering Emergency Response


A train carrying flammable hazardous materials derailed Wednesday afternoon in Lancaster, Minnesota, roughly 10 miles south of the U.S. border with Canada.

According WCCO-TV, a CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, it was the second train derailment involving hazardous materials in as many months.

The outlet reported that 24 cars from the Canadian Pacific train were derailed, but none of them had apparently leaked and there were no nearby waterways that might have been contaminated if a leak had occurred.

No one was injured in the accident, WCCO reported.

The Lancaster Fire Department responded to the accident, and later posted details about road closures and clean-up efforts to its Facebook page.

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“At around [4:00] tonight, LFD responded to a train derailment along Highway 59,” the department posted. “Approximately 27 cars have derailed, some of which were carrying flammable Liquid NOS. The Liquid NOS stayed confined within the cars. No injures have been reported, and we are all home safe for the evening.

“HIGHWAY 59 IS CLOSED from Lancaster to Highway 175, and will remain closed while the professionals get this cleaned up. Please follow detour routes and give these crews their space to work.

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“Special thanks to Lake Bronson and Hallock Fire for their assistance!” the post added.

Minnesotan politicians were quick to issue statements about the derailment, WCCO reported.

“Thank you to the local and state emergency management personnel who responded to the train derailment outside Lancaster,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement.

“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.”

Gov. Tim Walz also weighed in Wednesday evening.

“State officials are working with local emergency managers after a train derailed near Lancaster,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”

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On March 30, 10 BNSF Railway cars carrying ethanol derailed  in Raymond, Minnesota, about 325 miles south of Lancaster.

“The derailed tank cars contained 28,900 gallons of denatured ethanol, some of which was released and contributed to a fire,” KMSP reported last month, citing the results of a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

No injuries were reported in that incident, either, though roughly 800 residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
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Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics