RAYMOND — A train carrying ethanol derailed early Thursday morning in Raymond, and several cars caught fire forcing nearby residents to evacuate their homes as a precaution, and officials also shut down nearby Highway 23.
The derailment occurred at approximately 1:00AM, according to the Raymond Fire Department’s Facebook page. The train was carrying mixed freight, including ethanol and corn syrup. Several fire departments responded to the scene and have been battling the blaze for hours.
There are no reported injuries and railroad personnel are responding to the site.
BNSF said the main track is blocked and an estimated time for reopening of the line is not available. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
The City of Raymond is not accessible to the public, so Unity Church in Prinsburg is a designated drop off location for bottled water and snacks for the firemen.
More information will be released once BNSF staff are at the derailment site.
MnDOT officials believe Highway 23 will be closed until noon on Friday because of the derailed train in Raymond. Roughly 150 people stayed overnight at Central MN Christian School, which served as a shelter for evacuated residents.
MACCRAY Public Schools, which includes Raymond, said school will be in session on Thursday, but Raymond students who have been displaced will be excused from classes.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the Federal Railroad Administration is responding to the train derailment in Raymond, Minnesota. “We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in investigation,” Buttigieg said.
The Red Cross is responding to the train derailment in Raymond, Minnesota. Volunteers will support shelter needs for evacuated residents as well as canteen relief for emergency responders.