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Broken rail believed to be cause of train accident

By Brian Hansel /Forum News Service roken rail has been determined as the cause of a 32-car derailment on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway line Dec. 1 at a point four miles northwest of Wadena. BNSF recently wrapped up a two-month investi...

Train derailment
A railroad repair crew replaced a section of track northwest of Wadena Dec. 2 after tje derailment of 32 train cars.

By Brian Hansel /Forum News Service

roken rail has been determined as the cause of a 32-car derailment on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway line Dec. 1 at a point four miles northwest of Wadena.

BNSF recently wrapped up a two-month investigation into the derailment which spilled sugar and sugar products along a section of track near Bluffton, in Otter Tail County.

The BNSF report had to be submitted to the regional office of the Federal Railroad Administration by Jan. 31.

Public Affairs Specialist Mike England told the Pioneer Journal Tuesday morning that a separate FRA investigation into the derailment is nearly completed.

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"We may or may not issue violations or fines," England said. "I don't think that has been determined."

England confirmed that broken rails are one of the top reasons for train accidents.

No one was injured in the derailment which occurred at 6:32 a.m. on a Monday morning and closed both sections of track. The freight train was eastbound from Grand Forks, N.D. to Minneapolis. Work crews had both lines open for rail traffic by Thursday.

Oil tanker cars are routinely hauled by trains passing through Wadena and neighboring communities. Some tankers were involved in the derailment but none of them were loaded and a Hazmat team determined no health dangers existed at the site.

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