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Cleanup begins in western Minnesota after train derailment, with lawmakers pursuing answers

Cleanup begins after Raymond train derailment
Cleanup begins after Raymond train derailment 01:02

RAYMOND, Minn. --  Cleanup is getting started Friday after a train derailment and fire in the small town of Raymond in Kandiyohi County Thursday morning.

Heavy equipment was brought in to move the 22 Burlington Northern Santa Fe train cars. The freight train jumped the tracks early Thursday morning about 90 miles west of the Twin Cities in Raymond.

Tanker cars carrying ethanol and corn syrup started on fire.

About 800 residents were asked to leave their homes for nearly 10 hours.

RELATED: From 2018 through 2022, there were 60 train derailments in Minnesota

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith were joined by Rep. Michelle Fischbach for a tour of the site within the past hour. They say they will continue to follow through with the people or Raymond.

"We all asked a lot of questions about of course, how this happened and you know that the NTSB is in the midst of an investigation. Our concern after the safety of the people here was what was going to happen with the air," Klobuchar said. "They have done multiple tests they will continue to do that, but it just seems that there is no contamination as well as with the soil."

Both the BNSF and Gov. Tim Walz pointed out that the train cars involved in the derailment were among the newest and safest out there.

Raymond is a town of about 800 residents, about two hours west of the Twin Cities and 14 miles southwest of Willmar.

Residents of Raymond are encouraged to go to the Christian Reformed Church between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, as neighboring communities have donated food, water, and personal hygiene supplies. 

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