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UPDATED: Two injured in Two Harbors train derailment

More than a dozen train cars scattered along train tracks in Two Harbors on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (Clint Austin /

A Canadian National Railway train filled with iron ore pellets from the Iron Range derailed in Two Harbors early Thursday afternoon and two injuries were reported, Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson told the News Tribune.

The two CN employees were transported from the scene via ambulance. Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for CN, said the injuries appear to be minor. The two other employees on the train were uninjured.

The accident occurred at 1:14 p.m. on a bend in the tracks between Northshore Manufacturing and Two Harbors Lumber on Fourth Avenue, the Two Harbors Police Department said. Waldron said the area is considered the CN train yard.

Uwe Kausch, a sales manager at Northshore Manufacturing, said the rail cars were everywhere, "stacked up like cord wood," with some pointing up vertically.

A typical ore train has just over 100 cars and Kausch said it looked like most of them were affected by the derailment. Waldron said there were 107 cars but said it hadn't been determined how many were damaged or upended.

LeRoy Veness, who owns a repair shop about 100 yards from the rail line, said he heard the derailment.

"Our whole building was rumbling," Veness said.

Andy Johnson of Two Harbors was at the recycling center next to the repair shop and saw the accident take place.

"It was a rush," Johnson said. He saw taconite pellets fly into the air and said it made a "loud rushing noise."

Johnson said he immediately knew it was a derailment.

Waldron said a CN crew is on the scene investigating the derailment.

The Two Harbors Police Department said the Federal Railroad Administration is also investigating. Responders included police, Lake County emergency responders, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers, and Two harbors Fire Department firefighters.