Train derails in Houston County - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Train derails in Houston County

RENO, MN (FOX 47) -- A little after four Tuesday morning, twenty seven train cars derailed near Reno, Minnesota which is south of La Crescent. As officials begin the clean up, there are some safety concerns about what the train was carrying.

An undetermined number of cars are in the Mississippi River including one that is leaking ethanol.

The cause of the derailment is unknown, but before officails can begin to investigate they have to find a way to stop the leak.

"At this time there's really not an immediate danger to the public but it is a flammable liquid and there's always a chance of an explosion when something flammable is leaking."

Before the major clean up can begin, officials must find a way to stop an eth anol leak into the Mississippi after 27 train cars derailed near Reno. Crews tried to close a valve on the car, but were unsuccessful and are now looking at bringing in tanker trucks to offload the ethanol. Although there is no immediate danger to the public, it's forcing some to redirect there routes.

Highway 26 will remain closed for a minimum of 24 hours as crews try to clean up ethanol leaking from one of the cars.

The ethanol is leaking at a rate of three gallons per minute and until that is contained the highway will remain closed.

"I want to get it open but I can't get it open til the safety of the public is no longer an issue."

The cause of the derailment is under investigation, but officials say it could be related to the failure of a wooden railroad bridge.

"We don't know if the bridge collpased becasue of the derailment or if it caused the derialment again it's too early we don't want to speculate."

More than forty people are working on the clean up, which officials say could take as many as nine days.

No one was injured in the derailment and the spill has not caused any evacuations.

For information on alternate routes you can call 511.


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