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Clean-up crews work to remove tank cars from derailment site

MINOT, N.D. -- Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) crews have begun clean-up operations at the site of last Friday's der...


MINOT, N.D. — Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) crews have begun clean-up operations at the site of last Friday’s derailment in Minot, N. D. which left at least one person is dead.

Approximately 30 cars derailed at 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 18 on the western outskirts of Minot, resulting in an anhydrous ammonia leak and the evacuation of about 20 homes adjacent to the derailment site. A toxic gas cloud swept across the community and is being blamed for several traffic accidents and one death.

The evacuation remains in place and under the authority of the Minot Fire Department.

CPR is in the process of removing damaged rail cars and spilled anhydrous ammonia from the site to eliminate all potentially harmful vapors. That process is expected to continue around the clock.

The train that derailed carried a total of 112 cars. It originated in Edmonton, Alta. and was destined for St. Paul, Minn.

Anhydrous ammonia is a common nitrogen-based product used in fertilizers, refrigeration and household detergents. It is a colorless liquid at temperatures below -33C and forms a gas at higher temperatures.

CPR is co-operating with the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting an investigation into the cause of the derailment.


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