Train derails, ignites near Burlington
BURLINGTON, N.D. (KMOT) – Monday 5/2 UPDATE: Site of train derailment west of Minot reopens to train traffic, cleanup continues
UPDATE 3:15 p.m. : According to a spokesperson with the North Dakota National Guard, a black hawk helicopter is flying to dump water on the train derailment in Ward County. Burlington Fire Department sent a message to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services asking for help fighting the fires because fire trucks are getting stuck in the mud near the scene. Burlington Fire Chief Karter Lesmann said 50 volunteers are at the scene. It’s not known when the section of rail track will reopen.
UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: A spokesperson for Burlington Northern Santa Fe released the following statement to Your News Leader regarding the incident:
“At about 1 am Sunday, an eastbound BNSF Railway train derailed between Minot and Des Lacs. The derailed cars held containers carrying freight of all kinds. Cars with hazardous materials were not derailed and have been cut from the train and moved away from the scene. We are working with local fire departments as they respond to a fire in containers carrying paper products and frozen foods. There were no injuries reported in the incident and the cause is under investigation. We appreciate the assistance of local responders as additional crews arrive and will begin to restore the tracks to service.”
ORIGINAL STORY 8:15 a.m.: At least 11 train cars from a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train caught fire following a derailment near Burlington early Sunday morning, according to the Burlington Fire Chief.
Karter Lesmann said the incident occurred near County Road 10, between 107th and 128th Avenues, on top of the speedway hill area.
Lesmann said that all the cars that derailed were box cars. He said at least seven of the cars that are burning were hauling paper products, and one may be carrying tater tots.
The incident prompted an evacuation alert to be sent out to the surrounding areas, including parts of Minot, though the alert was canceled soon after. Lesmann said there was one hazardous car on the train, but it was moved out of the area following the incident.
Lesmann said that, as of 8 a.m., a couple of residences near the incident may still be evacuated as a precaution.
Lesmann said that crews are having to figure out how to respond to the cars, as it’s difficult to get vehicles near due to wet fields, and the cars are below an embankment.
Burlington, Minot Rural, and a crew from Minot Air Force Base are responding.
Lesmann asked the public to avoid the area and allow firefighting crews to attend to the scene.
Lesmann said there are no injuries at this time.
Your News Leader is reaching out to BNSF for more information.
This is a developing story. Check back with Your News Leader for updates.
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