Train Carrying Ethanol Catches Fire in Minnesota
A train carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire on Thursday in the town of Raymond, Minnesota. Residents in the area were forced to evacuate as officials responded to the incident.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train derailed at around 1:00 a.m. (0600 GMT), according to Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Tollefson. Several of the tank cars caught fire and were determined to be carrying a type of ethanol, while others contained corn syrup.
Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg confirmed in a tweet that there were no deaths or injuries. He also stated that he was closely following the situation.
This incident comes just two months after another train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, where a large fire caused the evacuation of hundreds of people. The train was carrying vinyl chloride, a highly flammable and carcinogenic chemical used in the manufacture of plastic.
Authorities conducted a “controlled” dumping of the chemical to prevent a possible explosion, releasing toxic fumes. Residents of the area complained of nausea and headaches as a result.
Unfortunately, train derailments are common in the United States, with an average of three per day in 2022, according to rail services. Such incidents highlight the need for improved safety measures and better handling of dangerous chemicals during transport.