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Plummer, Minn.

Train accident forces evacuation of northern Minnesota town -- Haz-mat team from Detroit Lakes called out

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Train accident forces evacuation of northern Minnesota town -- Haz-mat team from Detroit Lakes called out
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The northwestern Minnesota town of Plummer, population 292, was evacuated for a time earlier today after a semi-truck crashed into a train, according to a Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman.

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Ed Greenberg said it was done as a precaution and that the evacuation order has since been lifted. He stressed that there is no risk to the public.

The driver of the truck died at the scene, the Minnesota State Patrol said. It has not released the driver's name.

Just before 3:30 a.m. an eastbound CP train was crossing U.S. Highway 59 just south of Plummer when a northbound semi collided with it, causing one of the cars to derail, according to Greenberg and the Patrol. One of those cars carried bunker oil, which leaked, prompting the evacuation. Bunker oil is a kind of heavy, thick fuel.

A witness who was evacuated from the town this morning said there was a strong smell in the area.

The State Patrol said it has closed Highway 59 between Pennington County Road 3 and Minnesota Highway 92 at Brooks. Traffic is being rerouted.

Hazmat teams from Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Moorhead are on the scene, the State Patrol said. Also on the scene are CP's environmental experts, Greenberg said.

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