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Minnesota town evacuated after train, propane truck collide

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   March 25, 2016 at 8:26 AM

CALLAWAY , Minn., March 25 (UPI) -- A freight train struck a tanker truck carrying 10,000 gallons of flammable propane, prompting a fire and the evacuation of the town of Callaway, Minn.

The northbound Canadian Pacific train slammed into the truck early Thursday afternoon at a road crossing and derailed. Residents of the town of 230 were told they could return to their homes by noon Friday at the earliest, after the propane was completely "vented and burned off," the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said.

Fire crews from 15 local fire departments doused the truck with water to keep it cool until the propane was completely burned.

Ten hours after the collision, a large explosion shook the ground as the fire continued to burn. Officials were working to keep a nearby stationary tank of propane from exploding.

The locomotive and 11 cars of the train derailed. None of the cars carried hazardous material or caught fire. Casualties were limited to two members of the train's crew, who sustained non-critical injuries. The driver of the propane truck was not injured.

Canadian Pacific spokesman Andy Cummings said the company "will conduct a full investigation into the incident, with a focus on how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at that time." He added evidence suggests the locomotive engineer sounded the train's horn before the collision.

Callaway is 50 miles east of Fargo, N.D., and 220 miles from Minneapolis.

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