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Look out! LRT derailment near U of M is only a test

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Chaos is not something that can typically be planned for, but motorists and pedestrians should expect it Tuesday morning near the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus.

KSTP explains the smoke will be fake, just like the injuries and explosions. It's the scene that will follow a train derailment disaster drill that is set to begin at 9 a.m. near the newly-completed Stadium Village light rail station.

As many as 250 volunteers posing as train passengers with varying degrees of injuries will be rescued and treated. University of Minnesota Police, Metro Transit officers and a number of other public safety agencies will be on the scene for the test.

The Pioneer Press says the safety exercise is part of the preparation in advance of the June launch of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line, or Green Line which will connect the two metro downtowns and run through the densely-populated university campus and Midway neighborhoods.

"The effort here is to try to get first responders here to come to the scene quickly and develop a unified organization out of many different agencies instead of operating at separate agencies and engage in recovery efforts," said University of Minnesota Police Lt. Erik Swanson.

Because of the drill, a detour of the Metro Transit Route 272 and University Campus Connector, a U transit service, began Monday evening and will continue through the day on Tuesday. Part of 23rd Avenue Southeast is also closed.

Test runs for the Green Line have been ongoing since December of last year.

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