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Swift Co. Sheriff: Elementary school students evacuated to Kerkhoven

A train and a semi-tractor trailer carrying anhydrous ammonia collided west of Murdock, Minn. Traffic was detoured and school kids were evacuated as a precaution. (Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny.)1 / 2
Emergency crews respond Tuesday morning to the accident scene of a train and a semi-tractor trailer carrying anhydrous ammonia west of Murdock, Minn. This photo of the scene looking southward across U.S. Highway 12 to the BNSF Railway tracks. Highway 12 traffic was being detoured around the scene via county roads. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny.2 / 2

MURDOCK — Students at Murdock Elementary are being evacuated to the KMS High School in Kerkhoven in response to the collision involving a semi hauling anhydrous ammonia and a BNSF Railway train around 8:30 a.m. this morning.

According to the Swift County Sheriff’s office, the crash was reported via a 911 call this morning just west of the Koch Nitrogen plant west of Murdock along U.S. Highway 12.

One person has been airlifted for medical attention of unknown injuries.

The truck was traveling northbound and the train was eastbound, with the train engine hitting the rear end of the truck, according to the news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

A chemical assessment team is on the site to secure a small leak.

There is no imminent danger to anyone in the surrounding area, but the students were evacuated for the time being, the sheriff’s office said.

U.S. Highway 12 has been closed between DeGraff and Murdock and traffic is being detoured around the scene.

Responding agencies also include the Benson Police Department; State Patrol; fire departments from Kerkhoven, Murdock and DeGraff; the Swift County Emergency Manager; Swift County-Benson Ambulance; Kerkhoven First Responders and Rescue Squad; and a paramedic from Kandiyohi County.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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