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Crew on Scene Cleaning up 93 Derailed Train Cars

Updated: 12/06/2013 6:13 PM
Created: 12/06/2013 4:42 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

The day after a Canadian National train derailed while coming into the Two Harbors train yard, the yard is a loud scene of moving, mangled steel.

The commotion brought quite a bit of attention from locals.

"I thought it kind of looked like Star Wars all this machinery and stuff," said Roy Lundquist as he watched the crews.

Not even 24 hours after the train derailed, crews were on scene cleaning up the mess, pushing the spilled iron ore pellets to the side and removing the 93 cars that derailed from the tracks.

CN spokesperson Patrick Waldron said those 93 cars weren't just from one train. 76 cars derailed from the train coming into the yard, which had 107 total railcars. The 17 other cars derailed while sitting on an adjacent track. They were also loaded up with iron ore.

Waldron said of the four people on the train, two were injured and as of Friday afternoon, they were still hospitalized.

"The two crew members that were injured were not on the lead locomotive when the cars derailed and we are investigating why the crew left the locomotive, but we do know they activated the emergency brakes before the train derailed," said Waldron.

The train derailed Thursday afternoon with its haul of iron ore pellets. The commotion yesterday caught the attention of Lundquist and Paul Iversen. Friday, they took a look for themselves.

"I mean, they will have to clean it up get everything out of the way and then rebuild the yard to get trains back in here so it will be quite an event, I think," said Iversen.

They both put in nearly 40 years of work at CN. This derailment is unlike anything they have ever seen.

"I only remember two or three derailments. There weren't a lot and most of them were much more minor than this, this is pretty major," explained Iversen.

CN has a crew on scene investigating the cause. The FRA is also involved. Waldron said there is no timeline for when a cause will be determined or when the train yard will be repaired.

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