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BNSF Tracks Back in Service After Derailment

The derailment included 10 cars carrying paint and lithium-ion batteries.

Recovery work is shown at the scene of a train derailment along Hwy 35 Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Crawford County just south of DeSoto, Wis.
Recovery work is shown at the scene of a train derailment along Hwy 35 Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Crawford County just south of DeSoto, Wis.
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) β€” Railroad tracks damaged after a BNSF Railway freight train derailed in southwestern Wisconsin have been repaired and returned to service, rail and government officials say.

BNSF contractors made repairs and reopened the line Saturday, BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said.

"They've got that all repaired and they're at full speed already, running rail overnight," Craig Thompson, secretary of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, told the La Crosse Tribune.

Thursday's derailment in Crawford County involved two of the train's three locomotives and 10 cars carrying a variety of freight, including paint and lithium-ion batteries, Kent said. Four railway employees received minor injuries.

The Federal Rail Administration is investigating the derailment.

Recovery work is shown at the scene of a train derailment along Hwy 35 Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Crawford County just south of DeSoto, Wis.Recovery work is shown at the scene of a train derailment along Hwy 35 Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Crawford County just south of DeSoto, Wis.Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

Crawford County Emergency Management Specialist Marc Myhre said about 20 BNSF Railway cars were involved.

Two cars went into the Mississippi River, but neither contained hazardous materials, Kent said. Some of the containers that derailed on shore contained paint and lithium-ion batteries, and a boom was being placed in the impacted area, she said.

"The volumes involved don't pose a risk to the river or the communities," Kent said last week.

The derailment came almost three months after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Officials there decided to release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from five tanker cars to prevent a possible catastrophic explosion.

Hundreds of people had to evacuate in Raymond, Minnesota, in March after a BNSF train hauling ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire.

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