Train derails near Ellendale; Most residents allowed to return home

Published 12:09 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

ELLENDALE — Most of the residents evacuated this morning after a Union Pacific train derailed south of Ellendale are now allowed to return to their homes, according to the Steele County Sheriff’s Office.

Only residents within a 400-foot radius of the site of the derailed train, a half a mile south of Ellendale at the crossing of 158th Street, need to remain evacuated.

Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele said a hazardous materials chemical assessment team from Rochester found a 12-inch by 5-inch cut where propane and butane leaked, causing a cloud-like substance to form. Those clouds have since dissipated.

Email newsletter signup

There is still no word why the train derailed.

About 20 agencies assisted with the evacuation of all Ellendale residents and anyone else within a one-mile radius of the derailment earlier this morning, and residents met at United Methodist Church as first responders worked diligently to find answers.

Thiele said first responders will continue to monitor the situation, and the investigation is just starting into what took place.

The sheriff earlier this morning stated it is unclear how many cars derailed, but authorities are evaluating two cars carrying propane and butane, as well as any possible hot spots.