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Light rail disaster drill to take place in St. Paul Sunday afternoon

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Metro Transit officials are planning a disaster drill involving a light rail train on Sunday afternoon in St. Paul. The drill will simulate an injury crash between the train and a car at the intersection of University and Raymond Avenues, KSTP reports.

The exercise will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will involve emergency responders from Metro Transit and the city of St. Paul, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Staging of the scenario will begin about noon.

Streets in the area will remain open, but police will reroute traffic through the intersection, a police spokesman said.

The exercise is being held along the new Green Line light rail route, which begins service between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul in mid-June.

"The purpose of the drill is to further acclimate front-line responders to light-rail vehicles and systems, as well as strengthening working relationships between public safety agencies," Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said, according to the Pioneer Press.

Metro Transit and public safety departments have been running through disaster training scenarios in recent months, including a simulated light-rail train derailment on the University of Minnesota's campus in March.

Siqveland said a few more safety exercises are scheduled in the coming weeks, but says this "will be the last one with any type of real impact to the general public."

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