Derailment spills diesel into Mississippi River

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ST. PAUL — Crews are cleaning up a diesel spill on the Mississippi River that happened when two Union Pacific locomotives derailed on a bridge in St. Paul.

The derailment around 2 a.m. Wednesday punctured a fuel tank and spilled around 3,200 gallons of diesel fuel into the river.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said crews have placed absorbent booms in the water to try to soak up the spill, including one eight miles downstream. She said boats are also vacuuming up floating fuel.

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Teams from the Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are on the scene. MPCA spokesman Walker Smith said they don’t expect the cleanup to take long and don’t expect any long-term impact on the river.

The cause of the derailment hasn’t been determined. No injuries were reported.