A spokesman for Canadian Pacific says crews drained ethanol from three train cars that derailed Wednesday in the southern Minnesota town of Eagle Lake and forced about 300 residents from their homes.

Railroad spokesman Ed Greenberg said that none of the highly flammable material leaked from the train cars, which derailed Wednesday afternoon. He says the ethanol in the derailed cars is being pumped into tanker trucks.

Eagle Lake Mayor Tim Auringer called the evacuations a precaution and expected residents to return to their homes Thursday night. Eagle Lake is near Mankato in Blue Earth County.

Greenberg says it's not immediately clear what caused the derailment. He says Canadian Pacific will conduct its own investigation in tandem with a standard federal investigation.

ASSOCIATED PRESS