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Diesel fuel spill in southwest Minnesota believed to be intentional, suspect identified

More than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel escaped through a small hole in a pipeline.

A pipeline break that sent more than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilling into a drainage ditch in southwest Minnesota on Wednesday was the result of an intentional act, according to authorities. 

The Lyon County Sheriff's Office has issued a release saying a suspect has been identified in relation to the damaged pipeline, and the county attorney is reviewing the case for potential filing of criminal charges. 

The suspect has not been arrested. 

Approximately 8,400 gallons of of diesel fuel escaped through a small hole in a Magellan Midstream pipeline on Wednesday night and ran into a drainage ditch near Cottonwood, Minnesota. 

The Tulsa-based company says it was alerted to a possible leak due to a pressure drop in one of its 8-inch refined products pipelines, prompting recovery teams to make "significant efforts" to prevent the fuel from entering any natural waterways. 

"Magellan representatives are currently working to safely recover the product. There are no injuries, evacuations, or road closures associated with this incident," Magellan said in a statement. 

Cleanup work was done all day Thursday and Magellan said it "made significant progress recovering a high percentage of the available diesel fuel in the drainage ditch, which ultimately flows into the Yellow Medicine River."

"However, minor remnants of a petroleum sheen have passed through the containment areas along the drainage ditch," Magellan added, saying cleanup work continues. 

Because of the damage done, a pipeline that runs from Marshall in Lyon County to Willmar in Kandiyohi County will remain inactive, but Magellan doesn't expect any supply shortages to impact the area. 

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