Raymond, MN (KROC-AM News) -

The evacuation order that emptied a small west-central Minnesota town early today has been lifted and residents of Raymond are being allowed to return to their homes this afternoon.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office says the determination that it was safe for the approximately 800 residents of the community to return was made around 11:30 this morning. The evacuation order was issued after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train derailed and caught fire on the western edge of Raymond around 1 AM.

BNSF officials indicated 22 railcars left the tracks, including some loaded with ethanol, which burned through the night. A number of the other railcars were carrying corn syrup. A statement from the Sheriff's Office says there has been no impact on the groundwater at the site, where cleanup operations are underway and could take several days to complete.

Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office - Facebook
Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office - Facebook

Traffic continues to be detoured around the site of the derailment and it's not known when the rail line will be reopened. The cause of the derailment also remains under investigation.

Governor Tim Walz was at the site this morning and held a news conference with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway officials and local leaders. He says the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the State Pollution Control Agency, and other state entities have already responded to the incident.

The town of Raymond is located about 15 miles southwest of Willmar.

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