50-car Union Pacific train derails in Minnesota

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Local police are ordering people to shelter in place after a 50-car Union Pacific train carrying a mix of unknown substances derailed Saturday afternoon. 

Authorities in the city of Albert Lea, located about 10 miles north of Minnesota’s border with Iowa, said in a Facebook post that nearby intersections had been blocked and that pedestrians should avoid the area as they responded to the derailed train. 

Police later updated the post saying that no injuries were reported, with video of the scene showing derailed cars lying on the ground next to Minnesota’s Goose Lake. 

An officer can be heard in the Facebook footage saying police would need the local fire department come to “figure out what’s in those tanks, and we may need to do some evacuating.” 

Authorities ordered a local shelter in place, and the police department later said that hazardous material safety officers had arrived at the scene to “assist with material load containment,” though it added that any materials that may be exiting the cars were not airborne. 

Union Pacific said in a statement to local news outlets that about 28 of the 50 cars on the train had derailed near the lake, adding, “The train crew was not hurt, and the cause is under investigation.” 

The railway company, which operates one of the largest railroads in the U.S., added that the train was “carrying mixed commodities,” but added it was still “working to identify what is in the derailed cars.”

When reached for comment by The Hill, the police department said it had no additional updates as the situation was still developing.

Tags Freight railroads Hazardous waste Iowa leaks Minnesota Union Pacific

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