Train derails into Mississippi River

A Canadian National freight train idles on Wisconsin Central railroad tracks near Rosemont, IL. as it waits February 1, 2001 for an approach signal. Canadian National Railway Co. has reached a deal to buy Wisconsin Central Transportation Corp., for $800 million in cash. Wisconsin Central, based in Rosemont, IL., has 2,850 miles of track and track rights in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and Ontario. The deal announced January 30, 2001 would "secure a link" connecting Chicago and Superior, Wis., to Canadian National's network across Canada, Canadian National said. The rail industry in the United States had been going through a whirlwind of consolidations, some of which created severe traffic disruptions. Last year, U.S. regulatory authorities rejected Canadian National's plan to merge with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway to create North America's largest rail company in a deal worth $6.2 billion. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Newsmakers)
(Photo by Tim Boyle/Newsmakers)

OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
5:17 PM – Thursday, April 27, 2023

According to Representative Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.), a freight train has derailed on Thursday near Ferryville, Wisconsin, south of the Lansing Bridge.


Lena Kent, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) general director of public affairs, stated that the toppled locomotives that went into the Mississippi River were non-hazardous and do not pose a risk to the river.

“Two of the three locomotives and an unknown number of cars carrying freight of all kinds were involved. Two containers went into the Mississippi River; neither contained hazardous materials. Some of the containers derailed on shore contained paint and lithium-ion batteries. Boom is being placed in the impacted area. The volumes involved don’t pose a risk to the river or the communities,” Kent said.

According to the company, all crew members were accounted for and one individual received a medical evaluation.

Local emergency personnel were reportedly at the site, while BNSF cooperated with regional and national organizations. Additionally, the FRA has dispatched safety officials to the area to gather data and assist local operations as required.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin had said that Wisconsin State Highway 35 from State Highway 171 to State Highway 82 in De Soto was closed. No evacuation was needed.

Meanwhile, BNSF says the main track is blocked in both directions.

“The main track is blocked in both directions and an estimated time for reopening the track is not available,” BNSF said.

Governor Tony Evers (D-Wis.) took to Twitter to say that he was keeping an eye on the issue while receiving incoming information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Department of Natural Resources, and state emergency management officials.

The derailment comes nearly three months after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. 

The recent incident remains under investigation. 

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