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Plummer, Minn., temporarily evacuated following Canadian Pacific train accident

PLUMMER, Minn. - The northwest Minnesota town of Plummer was evacuated for a time this morning after a train accident, according to a Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman.

Ed Greenberg said it was done as a precaution and the evacuation order has since been lifted. He stressed that there is no risk to the public.

Just before 3:30 a.m. an eastbound CP train was crossing U.S. Highway 59 near Plummer when a semi truck collided with it, causing one or two cars to derail. One of those cars carried bunker oil, which leaked. Bunker oil is a kind of heavy, thick fuel.

Plummer, located about 225 miles north of Willmar, has a population of 292.

A witness who was evacuated from the town this morning said there was a strong smell in the area.

CP's environmental experts are on site to contain and cleanup the leak, Greenberg said.

He did not know the condition of the semi driver or the name.

The Red Lake County Sheriff's Department said it is putting together a news release but does not have a statement to make at this time.

Tu-Uyen Tran writes for the Grand Forks Herald, part of Forum Communications Co.