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Train collides with semi in western Minnesota; 1 airlifted

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Five people needed medical treatment after a train collided with a semi truck carrying anhydrous ammonia Tuesday morning in western Minnesota near the town of Murdock, the Star Tribune reports.

Anhydrous ammonia can be harmful to eyes, skin and respiratory systems.

The truck driver was airlifted for injuries, and three train crew members on the three-engine train were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries and then released, the newspaper reported. The truck was from the nearby Koch Nitrogen Co. fertilizer plant, and the crash created an “atmospheric release” of anhydrous ammonia that carried over the plant, Koch spokesman Paul Baltzer told the Star Tribune. Another driver at the plant needed medical observation.

Students at Murdock Elementary were being evacuated to a high school in nearby Kerkhoven, the West Central Tribune reported. A chemical assessment team was on the site "to secure a small leak," the newspaper reported.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train had 102 cars, most loaded with crude from near Minot, N.D., and bound for Missouri, the Star Tribune reported.

Residents were being kept away from the crash scene, KARE 11 reported.

The Swift County scene of the 8:30 a.m. crash is roughly 110 miles west of the Twin Cities.

Here's more about anhydrous ammonia, commonly used in fertilizer.

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