Still no cause for Ellendale train derailment

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Union Pacific officials have not released the official cause of November’s train derailment near Ellendale, which prompted the evacuation of the community.

The site of the Nov. 11 incident — a half mile south of Ellendale — was clear of all debris last week, except for a small load of rail car wheels according to Union Pacific Director of Corporate Communications Calli B. Hite.

The remaining debris was planned to be moved shortly after the New Year’s holiday.

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As of Thursday, the railroad company had not filed an official cause of the train derailment with the Federal Railroad Administration.

Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele said on Thursday that the derailment was still under investigation.

The 146-car train was reportedly hauling mixed freight from South St. Paul to North Platte, Nebraska, when 22 total rail cars derailed at about 5:45 a.m.

One rail car in the 146-car train was reportedly punctured during the derailment, leaking liquid petroleum gas and leading to the evacuation of the community and other residents within one mile of the train.

The evacuation for the community was lifted later that day.

Union Pacific officials removed the remaining liquid petroleum from the punctured rail car and one other car using a vent and burn method that weekend.

The train had four locomotives — two in the front and two in the back.

Look to the Tribune for more information as it is released.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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