Callaway, Minnesota evacuation lifted after train, propane truck collide

- The evacuation order in Callaway, Minnesota was lifted at 10 a.m. Friday morning following Thursday's crash involving a Canadian Pacific train and a semi carrying propane. The 200-person city in Becker County was evacuated as a precaution after the truck and train collided near Highway 59 at approximately 12:25 p.m. Thursday.

Canadian Pacific said 11 empty train cars and one locomotive derailed as a result of the crash. None of the cars were carrying hazardous materials and none of the train cars caught on fire. Two members of the train crew sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were both taken to Essentia Hospital in Detroit Lakes, where they were treated and released Thursday afternoon.

"Based on our preliminary investigation into this incident, it appears the train crew sounded the locomotive’s horn as the train approached the crossing," Canadian Pacific said in a statement. "Our investigation continues, with a focus on how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at that time."

Fire crews from 15 departments worked into the afternoon to contain the fire. The propane was being vented and burned off, Minnesota Department of Public Safety officials said.

Overnight explosion

Shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday, the propane tank at the scene exploded, sending a fireball into the air. No injuries were reported. According to the Becker County sheriff: "On March 24 at approximately 10:17 p.m., fire department crews were tending the propane tanker fire on the south side of the city of Callaway, Minn. At this time the tank failed causing immediate evacuation of all contents. All personnel at the scene were accounted for and uninjured."

Statement from Canadian Pacific 

"The train crew was treated and released from a Detroit Lakes hospital earlier today. We are thankful they are safe, and appreciate the good work of emergency services and medical personnel in responding to this incident.

"Upon gaining closer access to the scene, our personnel were able to determine a total of 11 railcars and one locomotive derailed in this incident. Due to a fire at the scene involving the commercial vehicle involved in this incident, we have not yet been able to begin the process of rerailing cars or repairing track at the site. Our dangerous goods team is assisting local fire departments, and safety will remain our focus as operations continue.

"Based on our preliminary investigation into this incident, it appears the train crew sounded the locomotive’s horn as the train approached the crossing. Our investigation continues, with a focus on how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at that time."

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