Train Derails with Chemicals Onboard

Authorities in far northwestern Minnesota are investigating a train derailment on Wednesday night. 

Emergency responders have reported that 24 rail cars carrying various types of freight, including some carrying hazardous materials, derailed on May 31 at approximately 4:30 p.m. 

The incident occurred approximately four miles south of Lancaster in a sparsely populated area. Lancaster is situated around six hours north of the Twin Cities, near the U.S.-Canada border.

Governor Tim Walz took to Twitter shortly before 10 p.m., stating that the state is collaborating with local emergency management teams to ensure the site’s containment. 

Officials from Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) have confirmed that there are no leaks from the affected rail cars and have further indicated that no injuries have been reported thus far.

State officials are working alongside local emergency managers in response to the train derailment near Lancaster. It is reassuring to learn that there have been no reported injuries and the site is under control. 

Expert teams assess the situation and ensure the community’s needs are met.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the co-sponsors of the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023, expressed her gratitude to those who responded to the recent derailment while raising concerns about the state of America’s railways. 

In a statement, Klobuchar conveyed her relief that no injuries occurred and there is currently no danger to residents. However, she emphasized that families should not have to worry about the potential harm posed by a derailment in their communities.

Klobuchar stressed the need to implement more substantial rail safety standards and increase accountability for violations. 

She pointed out her role as a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Railway Safety Act and her commitment to collaborating with fellow legislators to ensure its enactment into law.

If approved, the Railway Safety Act of 2023 would enforce essential updates to enhance rail safety protocols. 

These updates include heightened inspections for trains transporting hazardous materials, mandatory emergency response plans for rail carriers, and more stringent penalties for rail companies in the event of crashes.