UPDATE: Cleanup of hazardous materials after train derails in Richland County

Preliminary investigation finds broken rail to blame
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 4:14 AM CDT
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WYNDMERE, N.D. (Valley News Live) - More than two dozen Canadian Pacific train cars derailed with some spilling hazardous material in Richland County.

Authorities say it happened around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, approximately one mile southeast of Wyndmere, ND. Canadian Pacific’s preliminary investigation finds a broken rail was the cause of the derailment.

31 cars of a 70-car train derailed. Some of the cars contained hazardous materials, including propylene, ethylene glycol, and liquid asphalt. At this time, authorities are saying there’s no danger to the public which is a relief to locals like Edd Goerger who owns the land where the derailment happened.

“I’ve talked to the people as far as the railroad, as far as cleanup and stuff like that. And there will be environmental testing and issues like that going forward, throughout the rest of the year. We have to make sure we work with the railroad, that the heavy traffic going down our roads at this vulnerable time with some thawing have to make sure that the roads are put back too.”

Canadian Pacific officials say four cars filled with liquid asphalt and two cars filled with ethylene glycol spilled part of their loads, but all of the spill was contained to the crash site. According to spokesperson Andy Cummings, one propylene car sustained a small puncture and released vapor, but the puncture has been mitigated.

Officials say there was no fire, no one was hurt, and there are no waterways nearby.

Canadian Pacific emergency response teams, including hazardous materials experts and environmental teams, are on site and working closely with Wyndmere and Richland County first responders and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality on recovery and cleanup efforts.

It is estimated to take seven to 10 days to clean up the mess.