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BNSF: Broken Wheel Caused Derailment near Cloquet

The cause of the derailment of a BNSF train along the St. Louis River near Cloquet February was confirmed as a broken wheel. The cause of the derailment of a BNSF train along the St. Louis River near Cloquet February was confirmed as a broken wheel. |  Photo: WDIO

Updated: May 03, 2019 02:58 PM

BNSF says it has determined that a broken wheel was the cause of the train derailment along the St. Louis River near Cloquet in February.

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"BNSF conducts a thorough review of every incident because we want to understand what happened and why, and work to prevent it from happening in the future," Amy McBeth, BNSF Director of Public Affairs, said in an email.

The 121-car train loaded with coal derailed with a reported forty rail cars Feb. 16. McBeth said some of the cars were on their side near or partially in the St. Louis River, with coal on top of the ice at the time of the incident.

The event occurred within Fond Du Lac tribal boundaries.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was on the scene for the incident initially, but since the incident occurred within tribal boundaries, Fond Du Lac became the lead agency.

"Our emergency response team knows about the incident and we are available if the tribe wants our assistance," Lucie Amundsen, a public information officer for the MPCA, said. "The incident happened on tribal land so the tribe is in control of the situation."

The railway opened the following day after the derailment. 

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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