A train carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in Raymond, Minnesota, on March 30, 2023. The accident led to the evacuation of hundreds of residents as a precautionary measure, and emergency crews are currently on the scene to contain the fire and assess the damage. Here is what we know so far about this incident.
The derailment occurred around 11:00 a.m. local time, when a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train carrying 105 cars of ethanol and corn syrup derailed near the intersection of Highway 23 and County Road 7. The cause of the derailment is still under investigation, but early reports suggest that a mechanical issue may have been involved.
The derailment led to a large fire that sent thick plumes of smoke into the air, visible from miles away. The fire reportedly burned several rail cars and spilled ethanol and corn syrup onto the ground. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been notified and is monitoring the situation.
As a precautionary measure, local authorities ordered the evacuation of residents within a one-mile radius of the accident site. Hundreds of people were affected, and emergency shelters were set up at nearby schools to provide temporary housing. Officials have not yet announced when residents will be allowed to return to their homes.
Emergency crews from multiple agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol, the Raymond Fire Department, and the BNSF Railway, responded to the scene. They are currently working to contain the fire and prevent any further leaks of ethanol or corn syrup. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also dispatched a team to investigate the accident.
The derailment and fire have disrupted train traffic in the area, and several roads have been closed. The incident also raises concerns about the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail, especially given recent incidents in other parts of the country. The long-term environmental impact of the spill is not yet clear, but officials are monitoring the situation closely.
The train derailment and evacuation in Raymond, Minnesota, is an ongoing situation that is being closely monitored by local authorities and emergency responders. While the cause of the derailment is still under investigation, the incident highlights the potential risks of transporting hazardous materials by rail. We will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.