(Two Harbors, Minnesota – December 5, 2013)
Two train crew employees received serious injuries Thursday afternoon a little after 1:00 P.M. when the 107-car train Canadian National train they were operating from Minnesota’s iron range derailed 76 cars loaded with iron ore pellets as it entered CN’s yard facility in Two Harbors, MN.
The cars derailing from the inbound train knocked another 17 cars loaded with the same commodity off an adjacent track, creating a massive jumble of damaged hopper cars and tons of spilled iron ore, basically shutting down the yard and causing a mess that employees were still working the next day to re-rail, repair or scrap the wrecked cars as well as to rebuild a considerable amount of track.
The location of the yard, which is just in sight of heavily-travelled, multi-lane Minnesota Highway 61, is sufficiently distant from residential and commercial regions of the city to keep from congesting traffic. The accident took place on a curved portion of track.
Patrick Waldron, government and public affairs manager for Canadian National’s U.S. operations said that the two crew members who were injured remained hospitalized Friday with non-life-threatening injuries, and that special equipment had been brought in to work the 93-car derailment.