Pine City Man Injured In Semi Crash With Train

Monday, May 13th, 2013 at 7:01 am

A Pine City Man was injured in an accident near Murdock in Western Minnesota last Tuesday and had to be airlifted to a hospital in St. Cloud. The semi truck Eric Westin was driving had been hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train.

The West Central Tribune reports the accident occurred shortly after Westin left the Koch Nitrogen Fertilizer terminal at the site. He was northbound on a township road intersecting with U.S. Highway 12 when the rear of the semi-truck trailer, which had a full anhydrous ammonia tank, was struck by an eastbound BNSF train. Three locomotives and 102 tanker cars carrying oil from a location west of Minot, N.D., were on their way to Missouri.

Westin was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital, where he was reported as being in serious condition on Thursday. The three crew members on the train were transported to an area hospital for observation and released.

U.S. Highway 12 west of Murdock was closed for about four hours, but reopened for traffic at 12:30 p.m. last Tuesday, two to three days before officials initially thought it could be done.

The highway was opened shortly after workers removed the ruptured anhydrous ammonia tank and semi-truck that had been struck around 8:30 a.m.

Minor cleanup work continued at the site even after the highway was reopened. The paper reports that some of the ammonia that had been mixed with water was being cleaned up from the ground there.

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