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50 rail cars derail in Minnesota, spill coal

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No one was injured and no major environmental damage was done when 50 westbound BNSF Railway cars derailed and spilled coal late Sunday in central Minnesota.

Crews were busy at work Monday to clear a massive mess of twisted metal and coal after the cars derailed at about 11:48 p.m. Sunday in Sylvan Township, west of Pillager, which is about 13 miles west of Brainerd, the Bemidji Pioneer reported.

WDAZ has a short video clip of the scene, and the Brainerd Dispatch has a slideshow of images.

There was nothing considered a hazardous material at the site; there was no threat to public safety, officials said. Several roads were closed. Cleanup could take several days, the Associated Press reported.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately known. Rail officials at the site declined comment, the Brainerd Dispatch reported. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and BNSF officials are investigating.

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