Two trains collide in Dresbach - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Two trains collide in Dresbach


Dresbach, MN (KTTC-TV) --

It was an early morning wake-up call for several emergency officials after 2 trains collided and derailed in Dresbach. Several rail cars are off the track and one engine is in the Mississippi River. Emergency management officials and sheriff deputies have been on the scene all day since the accident happened just after 5 this morning. Crews are now assessing how two trains could have collided at the switch board.

"There's one engine that's in the river and it's on its wheels. There are 23 cars that are derailed."

That's the scene Winona and Houston counties emergency management officials woke up to Wednesday morning. Two trains collided around 5 a.m. near the switch board in Dresbach, but officials do not yet know why.

"It happened right at the switch control, which is where the actual accident took place. The trains did collide. They were going in the same direction," explains Winona county sheriff, Dave Brand.

The Canadian Pacific Railway was running a 100-car train to St. Paul. Officials have not yet determine the owner of the smaller, 15-car train. Two engineers were taken to the La Crescent hospital and released with minor injuries.

The main concern was a leaking 1000 gallon LP tank. Officials evacuated a nearby 24-resident veterans home as a precautionary measure.

"The propane now, from what we can tell, is under control. And the people that were evacuated from the Mosher home will be coming back, the vets, back to their home tonight," exclaims Brand.

Officials thought one of the cars may have spilled liquid fertilizer into the Mississippi river, that now is determined false, as the spill was contained to the shore.

The main concern at the moment is how the coming weather will affect an investigation.

"The railroad, when they come in and have a situation, they're losing a lot of money if that railroad is not open, them tracks are not open," Brand continues. "So they're going to be working day and night."

The Federal Railroad Inspectors are now investigating on the scene. The Red Cross has also been there all day providing food and drinks to emergency crews and supporting the veterans at the church.

Brand says the complete cleanup could take several weeks.

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