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BRECKENRIDGE, MN – About 1000 gallons of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was spilled in a train derailment in Breckenridge, MN on April 30, 2011 creating a sticky mess for railroad workers to clean up.

Red River Valley & Western Railroad

Breckenridge is located in Wilkin County, Minnesota in the western part of the state on the border with North Dakota about 201 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

The derailment occurred around 12:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon on the east side of Breckenridge. The eastbound train had just come from the Cargill plant in Wahpeton, ND about 10 miles northwest of Breckenridge.

Breckenridge rail yards located on the east side of town where a train derailment occurred on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

Nine rail cars jumped the tracks and 4 tanker cars filled with HFCS tipped over spilling the gooey mess all over the place. Cleanup crews pumped the spilled corn syrup into a tank. The cleanup was completed by around 6 a.m. the next day, Sunday.

Of the 9 cars that left the tracks, 7 were filled with the HFCS and two other rail cars were filled with grain. The train belonged to the Red River Valley & Western Railroad.

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries to any railroad workers and the material was not hazardous so no hazmat teams had to be called in and no one had to be evacuated from the area.

The cause of the derailment is not known at this time and the accident is currently under investigation. According to the railroad company, they believe that a section of track was softened by wet ground and caused one of the train’s wheels to get caught on a switching point.

According to a manager of track and structures for the railroad, Cal Gruebele, service on the track’s main line was not affected by the derailment.

Published by FELA lawyer news blog at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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