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Train derails, spills oil near Parkers Prairie

A Canadian Pacific train derailed near Parkers Prairie Wednesday morning. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of crude oil spilled onto the frozen ground. (Contributed photo by Dee Sjobeck)

Tanker railcars carrying crude oil derailed north of Parkers Prairie just after 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The Canadian Pacific Railroad train was traveling southeast past the intersection of 150th Street and 555th Avenue when it lost air pressure for its brakes and went into emergency mode, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office.

Fourteen cars derailed, some of them completely off the tracks.

Three tankers ruptured and either leaked oil or spilled oil.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons leaked over the frozen ground but a spokesperson for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said that crews were able to control the spill, containing it in a farm field and ditch.

Because the ground was frozen, the MPCA said that ground water isn't threatened.

Excavation work will continue at the site to see if any oil leaked into the soil.

No injuries were reported.

The train had 94 cars and was about 5,700 feet long. It carried a mix of cargo and was traveling from western Canada to Chicago.

The Parkers Prairie Fire Department, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Canadian Pacific personnel responded to the scene.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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