BNSF Investigates 40-Car Train Derailment Near Cloquet

No one was injured, coal spills out onto river and snow.

DULUTH, Minn.- BNSF Railway is investigating to find out what caused dozens of train cars to overturn near Cloquet.

The Railway released a statement Sunday night which reads in part:

“BNSF crews have been working at the site clearing cars and repairing the track, and preparing a plan to remove the spilled coal and remaining derailed cars. There were no injuries in the incident. At this point, we estimate the tracks will be returned to service late tonight.”

“There were railroad cars stacked up like cord wood along the shoreline, probably like 5–6 in the water, on the ice.”

Anthony Gist described the scene he encountered near his Cloquet home after hearing about the derailment on social media.

“I read about it on my Facebook feed and decided to call my friend and see if we run on our snowmobiles down and check it out,” he said.

What he saw on the white snow covering the ice of the river was something he never expected.

“I’d say about 100 feet of coal dust out on the ice, in the snow, said Gist.

“Black, black coal dust about 100 feet out.”

Yet, he says it could have been much worse.

“Luckily it wasn’t a chemical train, and the environmental impact should be pretty low.”

For Gist and his family, that’s what matters most.

“That’s why I love here. I live in Northern Minnesota for the area, not because I love the cold,” he said, laughing.

“We love the area, and we wanna see it sustained and be usable and viable for years to come.”

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