PAYNESVILLE -- Eight cars of an 85-car Canadian Pacific Rail Road train derailed Monday afternoon near the AMPI plant in Paynesville.
According to Paynesville Police Chief Kent Kortlever, railroad officials are still investigating the cause of the accident, but it's possible that the 90-degree heat on the tracks could have been a contributing factor.
"We were pretty fortunate with this one," Kortlever said, as there were no injuries and no property damage caused by the derailment. No hazardous materials were involved.
The train was blocking County Road 130 west of Paynesville, though, and two cars went off a bridge into the Crow River.
Kortlever said railroad officials arrived on the scene shortly after 5 p.m. Monday. The cars derailed shortly before 3 p.m.
The cars that derailed were near the end of the train, he said. The last three cars in the train stayed on the tracks, and the cars ahead of them derailed. Several cars at the beginning and end of the derailment were off the track but upright, he said. Two cars were off the track but still upright, and the two in front of them had gone off into the creek, he said. The two cars in the creek were open flat cars and were empty.
A grain car was off the tracks and slanted toward the creek, he said. Another car hauling light sand was leaning and some of the sand was coming out one corner of the car. Kortlever said cars hauling gas and sulfuric acid were part of the 85-car train but not affected by the derailment.
There was no word yet on how long it would take to right the cars or to move the train and reopen the county road, Kortlever said.
TJ Jerke contributed to this story.