Oil rail cars ablaze after North Dakota train collision

Oil rail cars ablaze after North Dakota train collision

FARGO, North Dakota Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:43pm EST

(Reuters) - As many as a dozen oil tank cars burst into flames in eastern North Dakota on Monday after a collision with another train, state officials said, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised alarms over growing oil-rail traffic.

The incident, which has caused at least five powerful explosions just a mile outside of the small town of Casselton, occurred after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed, and an eastbound train hauling crude oil ran into it, said Cecily Fong, the public information officer with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

The last 50 oil-tank cars have been decoupled from the train, but another 56 cars remain in danger, she said. The collision destroyed both engines on the oil train. Both trains were operated by BNSF Railway Co, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Bershire Hathaway Inc.

City officials said they had heard explosions following the collision, including one as recently as 3:40 p.m. CST, more than an hour after the incident. There have been no reports of any injuries, but local residents were asked to remain indoors to avoid contact with the smoke.

FULL STORY: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/30/us-northdakota-collision-...

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