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In report, BNSF says human error caused train derailment near Alma

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Alma train derailment

ALMA –€” BNSF Railway says human error caused a train derailment in November that sent more than 20,000 gallons of ethanol into the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.

In an accident report filed with the Federal Railroad Administration, BNSF says a train operator applied the dynamic brakes too rapidly, causing 25 cars to jump the tracks near Alma. The federal agency continues to investigate.

The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1N2GM8F ) the 112-car train was traveling south at 26 mph when it derailed on Nov. 7. Five of its tankers leaked a combined 20,413 gallons of ethanol.

There were no injuries in the derailment, which caused about $2.1 million in damage to rail equipment and tracks. The damage doesn’t reflect the cost of monitoring the Mississippi River, which BNSF is paying for.