Freight train collides with truck carrying ammonia in Minnesota

07 May 2013 18:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A freight train crashed into a truck carrying anhydrous ammonia in western Minnesota on Tuesday.

A fertilizer leak lead authorities to evacuate a nearby school and close the local highway.

The collision involved a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train travelling eastbound, which struck the rear end of the semi truck at around 08:30 local time.

Investigators said the truck was headed north in a location just west of the Koch Nitrogen plant, which is located outside of the small community of Murdock along US Highway 12.

At this time it is not known how much ammonia has spilled or was being transported, and it was still unclear as from where the load originated. A spokesperson with Koch Nitrogen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the Swift County Sheriff’s office, there was one person transported for medical attention for unknown injuries. There are no other known injuries or fatalities at this time. The sheriff's office is not releasing any further information about the victim or confirming whether it was the truck driver or the train engineer.

While the authorities do not feel there is any immediate danger to the public, the local elementary school was evacuated as a precaution.

As of midday on Tuesday, state highway officials still had the highway closed and were detouring traffic around the accident scene. No word as to when it would be reopened.

Authorities said a local chemical assessment team is on the site to secure the leak from the tanker and to determine if there would be any additional hazards present.   

There were no details on the train, its cargo or damages to the locomotive, and a spokesperson with Burlington Northern did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


By: Mark Milam



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