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Published July 16, 2011, 05:13 PM

2 Injured as Train Derails in Fridley, MN

A train derailed on a road washed out from overnight rains near a Mississippi River tributary Saturday, injuring the engineer and conductor.

By: Associated Press,

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A train derailed on a road washed out from overnight rains near a Mississippi River tributary Saturday, injuring the engineer and conductor.

The Star Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/oW9xUY) 17 railcars and two locomotives derailed at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday in Fridley.

The train had crossed a bridge over Rice Creek when it hit a washed-out road where heavy rain had swept away the track's foundation, causing the train to derail.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the engineer and conductor were the only crew members aboard and they were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

She said it will likely take a couple of days to restore service and clear the derailed cars.

Metro Transit canceled all six regularly scheduled trips between Big Lake and Minneapolis Saturday as well as service for the evening Minnesota Twins baseball game.

The derailment heavily damaged the bridge and 16 of the 17 cars, which will be scrapped, officials said.

The 17 railcars were among 110 cars carrying corn. The two locomotives spilled diesel fuel into the river.

McBeth said it was a slow leak and crews were working to clean it up in addition to clearing and repairing the line and the damaged bridge nearby.

Fifty trains a day use that line and will be rerouted until the area is safe, she said.

Fridley police Capt. Brian Weierke said the water also closed part of Interstate 35W, flooded roads and basements and downed trees.

According to the National Weather Service, about an inch of rain fell each hour starting around midnight Saturday. At the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, 2.9 inches of rain fell between 7 a.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday, while 3 inches fell in St. Paul and 4 inches of rain was recorded in Crystal.

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