Derailed train bursts into flames in Minnesota forcing residents to flee homes

 (CBS Minnesota)
(CBS Minnesota)

A train carrying ethanol and corn syrup derailed and caught fire in Minnesota - with nearby residents told to evacuate their homes, US authorities have said.

The BNSF train derailed in the town of Raymond, about 100 miles west of Minneapolis, at about 1am on Thursday, Kandiyohi County sheriff Eric Tollefson said in a statement.

The train “had numerous rail cars derail” and several caught fire, Mr Tollefson said.

Homes in a half-mile area around the site were evacuated, according to Mr Tollefson, with residents taken to a shelter in nearby Prinsburg.

Railway safety in the US has been in the spotlight since last month’s derailment of a Norfolk Southern train near East Palestine, Ohio.

Around half of East Palestine’s 5,000 residents had to be evacuated after officials decided to release and burn toxic chemicals.

Federal regulators and members of Congress have proposed reforms to prevent future derailments.