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Train spills small amount of fuel in central Minnesota

BNSF workers and a hazardous materials team clean up fuel that spilled from a CSX locomotive on the outskirts of Randall, Minn., on Thursday morning, March 13, 2014. Emergency personnel were called at 9 a.m. Friday from the central Minnesota town. Railroad workers and the hazardous materials team were collecting and wiping up fuel that apparently overflowed after a line break on the engine. BRAINERD DISPATCH/Steve Kohls

By Mike O'Rourke

RANDALL, Minn. -- A train spilled fuel Thursday morning along Highway 10 in this central Minnesota town, but a fire crew that responded said the spill was considerably smaller than the 200 gallons originally reported.

Randall Deputy Fire Chief Rick Gaffke said his crew of nine firefighters never had to pull their lines and the spill had stopped when they arrived. He said a fuel line leak on the CSX Corp. train engine on a BNSF Railway line apparently caused fuel to spill through an overflow pipe. Gaffke said he didn’t know how much had been spilled, but doubted that it was 200 gallons.

The incident was reported at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, according to BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth.

McBeth said the eastbound train was headed from Dilworth to Kansas City, Mo., when the fuel spill was discovered and the train was stopped. She said the railroad’s environmental consultants were sent to the scene and cleaned up the engine compartment. Only a “minimal amount” spilled onto the nearby land, McBeth said, and no remediation was necessary by the environmental consultants.

She said the CSX train was operated by a BNSF crew on a BNSF rail line.

“In this case almost all of (the spilled fuel) was retained on the locomotive,” she said.

The train, which included 77 loaded cars, three empty cars and two locomotives, was brought in for repairs, she said.

The environmental consultants arrived at the scene about midday Thursday.

Earlier that morning, Randall Fire Chief John Kreuser said a pager report he heard estimated the spill at 200 gallons, but noted that had not been verified.

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