The National Transportation Safety Board is dispatching a team to investigate a head-on train collision north of Two Harbors on Lake Superior's north shore on Thursday.
The accident injured five people when one train loaded with taconite collided with train of empty taconite cars. NTSB Spokesman Keith Holloway said the injuries and other factors triggered the federal investigation.
"Whether there is any environmental impact on the local communities in that particular area where the accident occurred, as well as substantial damage done to the train," are things the NTSB will investigate, Holloway said. "And of course if there are any fatalities and serious injuries."
The five people injured were crew members on the two trains. The Canadian National tracks carry pellets from Virginia and Mountain Iron taconite plants to docks in Two Harbors.