Thousands of pounds in coal spill after train derails near Fisher

Crews are working to repair tracks after a train derails, spilling coal.

FISHER, Minn. — Crews are still working to fix train tracks near Fisher after a derailment.

WDAY News spoke directly with emergency responders to learn what's being done to clean up a coal spill.

Train cars fell off the tracks, spilling thousands of pounds of coal.

"When deputies arrived, they saw approximately 14 cars had left the train tracks, some of them had overturned into the ditch," said Polk County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Brian Lundeen.

WDAY News learned the call came in around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20.

When Polk County sheriff's deputies arrived they closed all the roads in the area just off Highway 2 near Fisher.

"It's a proper damage accident at this time," Lundeen said. "It's rare that we have a train that derails."

Deputies spent four hours on scene while BNSF crews sorted through the mess.

"The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and that's all we know at this point," Lundeen said.

BNSF owns the tracks.

A BNSF spokesperson said it's unclear when the tracks will open.

For now, trains are being diverted to other routes until the coal is removed and the tracks are repaired.

"They got to fix the track," Lundeen said. "Part of the track was damaged during the derailment."

Engineers were on board during the crash.

BNSF said no one was hurt.

Neighbors that live nearby said they were sleeping and didn't hear anything at the time of the crash.