Canadian Pacific train derails in rural North Dakota, spilling hazardous chemicals

By Staff

The Associated Press

Posted March 27, 2023 10:06 pm

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A Canadian Pacific train derailed in rural North Dakota Sunday night and spilled hazardous materials. But local authorities and the railroad said there is no threat to public safety.

There were no injuries and no fire associated with the derailment, which occurred in a rural area outside Wyndmere, a town of several hundred people about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Fargo.

Canadian Pacific spokesperson Andy Cummings said 31 of the 70 cars on the train, including several carrying hazardous materials, left the tracks around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

Four cars filled with liquid asphalt and two railcars filled with ethylene glycol spilled some of those chemicals in the derailment. And Cummings said a car carrying propylene was punctured and released some vapor.

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It wasn’t immediately clear how much of the chemicals were released, but there are no waterways nearby and the chemical spills were contained at the site of the derailment.

The railroad’s hazardous materials experts are working with local first responders to clean up the spill. Several roads in the area were shut down.

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Cummings said the railroad believes a broken rail caused the derailment.

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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