US: Train hauling ethanol, corn syrup derails prompting evacuations in Minnesota

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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 (161 kilometers) west of Minneapolis, about 1 a.m., according to a statement from Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Tollefson.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from BNSF officials.

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The train “had numerous rail cars derail” and several caught fire, Tollefson said. Homes in an area 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometers) around the site were evacuated, according to Tollefson, and residents were taken to a shelter in nearby Prinsburg.

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.

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

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