Report: BNSF says human error caused train derailment near Alma

Human error is to blame for a train derailment last fall that caused thousands of gallons of ethanol to leak into the Mississippi River, according to BNSF Railway.

Thirty-two tankers derailed in early November near Highway 35 and County Road I, about 2 miles north of Alma, with five of those cars leaking more than 20,000 gallons of ethanol into the Mississippi River.

BNSF filed an incident report with the Federal Railroad Administration, saying a train operator hit the dynamic brakes too quickly, causing more than two dozen cars to jump tracks.

No one was injured in the derailment. However, it did cause about $2.1 million worth of damage to rail equipment and track. That monetary value does not include the money BNSF has spent to monitor the Mississippi River for any signs of harm to wildlife.

The derailment is still under investigation.

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