DERAILMENT: Callaway MN train semi-truck collision leads to propane explosion, evacuation

Repost from FOX 9, Eden Prairie MN
[Editor:  It was the truck carrying propane that exploded, not the train. Firefighters let it burn into the night.  Derailed train cars ended up very near another stationary propane tank, but did not hit it.  – RS]

Railroad: Video shows propane truck never stopped for train in Callaway, Minn.

POSTED: MAR 25 2016 02:29PM CDT, UPDATED: 02:38PM CDT

CALLAWAY, Minn. (KMSP) – Canadian Pacific Railway says its onboard video shows a propane tanker truck never stopped and pulled out in front of the train before Thursday’s fiery crash in Callaway, Minnesota. The northwestern Minnesota town of 200 people was evacuated as a precaution until the order was lifted at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

The crash happened at approximately 12:25 p.m. Thursday near Highway 59. 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. The railroad said its train crew sounded the locomotive’s horn as the train approached the crossing.

Railroad: Video shows propane truck never stopped for train in Callaway, Minn.

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.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will travel to Callaway on Saturday to visit the crash site and meet with railroad and community leaders.

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.”

Cleanup progress

Canadian Pacific said its crews were able to access the site starting Thursday evening and began the process of clearing the rail line. Six railcars were moved to the side, while 5 were re-railed. Early Friday morning, engineering personnel began replacing track, and the first train passed through the site at 10:15 a.m. Friday.