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Pipeline leak near Cottonwood spills unknown amount of diesel

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Updated 7:08 p.m. | Posted 10:58 a.m.

Authorities say a hole in a western Minnesota pipeline caused a spill of about 8,400 gallons of diesel fuel, some of which found its way into a drainage ditch.

Officials with the pipeline's operator, Magellan Midstream Partners, say a small hole was discovered in an 8-inch pipe near Cottonwood around 8:30 p.m. Bruce Heine, vice president of government and media affairs for Magellan, said the leak was stopped about two hours later. He didn't have an estimate on how much fuel spilled.

The leak was on a section of pipeline that runs from Willmar to Marshall. The pipeline is part of a larger system that extends from Texas to North Dakota and provides refined petroleum products to terminals around the Midwest.

"This morning there are approximately 75 representatives on site," Heine said. "That includes contractors, emergency responders, federal, state, local agencies, including the EPA and MPCA as well as the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety... Our efforts are focused on containing and recovery of the diesel fuel."

Heine said he didn't know if the spilled diesel had reached the Yellow Medicine River or any nearby waterways. He said the pipeline wasn't actively transporting the diesel fuel at the time the leak was discovered.

One minor injury was reported, to a worker involved in the cleanup.