A preliminary investigation of a train-truck collision that prompted a one-day evacuation of the northwestern Minnesota town of Callaway last week suggests that the propane tanker truck pulled in front of the train at a crossing without stopping, authorities say.
Onboard video recovered Friday also indicates that the crew on the Canadian Pacific Railway freight train sounded the locomotive horn, according to railway spokesman Andy Cummings.
The collision caused the train to derail and the tanker truck to catch fire, and led to evacuation of the Becker County town of about 230 people.
Late Thursday, the truck exploded after burning for hours, but no one was hurt and the fire was soon knocked down. Evacuated residents were allowed back into town Friday, and the crossing and nearby roads were reopened.
Eleven rail cars and one locomotive derailed after the crash. None of the derailed cars contained hazardous material, and none caught fire. Two members of the train's crew were treated at the Detroit Lakes hospital for minor injuries suffered in the collision.
On Saturday, Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to Callaway to view the scene of the collision and to meet with elected officials, railroad staff and townspeople.
"I wouldn't wish this on anybody, but I'm hoping this Legislature will recognize the urgency based on the experience here," he said. "… This shows that something can happen anywhere under those unexpected circumstances." He also spoke about rail-crossing upgrades proposed across the state.
"We have a lot more flammable materials moving on our rail system across the state, and so we really need to catch up," he said.