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Forum News Service, Published May 07 2013

School evacuated after truck hauling anhydrous ammonia hits train

MURDOCK, Minn. — Students at a west-central Minnesota elementary school are being evacuated to a nearby high school in response to the collision involving a semi-trailer hauling anhydrous ammonia and a train about 8:30 this morning.

According to the Swift County Sheriff’s Office, the crash was reported via a 911 call this morning just west of the Koch Nitrogen plant along U.S. Highway 12. The plant is west of Murdock and about 20 miles northwest of Willmar.

One person has been airlifted for medical attention of unknown injuries.

Students from Murdock Elementary were moved to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School in Kerkhoven.

The truck was northbound and the BNSF Railway train was eastbound, with the train engine hitting the rear end of the truck, according to the news release from the sheriff’s office.

A chemical assessment team is on the site to secure a small leak.

There is no imminent danger to anyone in the surrounding area, but the students were evacuated for the time being, the sheriff’s office said.

U.S. Highway 12 has been closed between DeGraff and Murdock and traffic is being detoured around the scene.

Responding agencies also include the Benson Police Department; State Patrol; fire departments from Kerkhoven, Murdock and DeGraff; the Swift County Emergency Manager; Swift County-Benson Ambulance; Kerkhoven First Responders and Rescue Squad; and a paramedic from Kandiyohi County.