North Dakota news
Residents of ND town urged to evacuate after train collision sets oil tankers ablaze
Dec 30, 2013 Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town late Monday after a mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed nearby after colliding with another train.
The Cass County Sheriff's Office said Monday night it is "strongly recommending" that people in the town of Casselton and anyone living 5 miles to the south and east evacuate to shelters set up in Fargo, which is about 25 miles away. Casselton has about 2,400 residents.
The sheriff's office said the National Weather Service was forecasting a shift in the winds that would push the plume of smoke down, possibly posing a health risk. Earlier, authorities had advised nearby residents to shelter inside their homes.
The freight train carrying crude oil hit another train hauling grain that had derailed on Monday afternoon, triggering an explosion and sending flames shooting more than 100 feet into the air. No injuries were immediately reported.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and local emergency crews responded to reports of a derailment near the city of Casselton, N.D., and discovered the oil train burning, with up to 10 cars fully engulfed, said sheriff’s Sgt. Tara Morris.
“There was an explosion, where a car let loose and there was a giant fireball, hundreds of feet in the air,” said Assistant Chief Gary Lorenz of the City of Fargo Fire Department, who was in touch with a crew on the scene.
“It’s burning very strong right now,” he said. “You can see the plume of smoke for 25 miles.”
The collision occurred at a street intersection just before 2:20 p.m., when a westbound BNSF train carrying grain derailed and was then hit by an eastbound train carrying oil, Cecily Fong, a public information officer with North Dakota Emergency Services, told NBCChicago.com. Both trains were owned by BNSF, she said.
NBC affiliate KVLY in Fargo, N.D., reported that the train emitted a cloud of toxic smoke but that prevailing winds were blowing the smoke away from Casselton.
Kevin Thompson, a Federal Railroad Administration spokesman, told NBC News that the agency was sending investigators to the scene.
"The Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have investigative teams en route to North Dakota and will work in concert with the National Transportation Safety Board, the lead investigator, to ascertain all the relevant facts that may have contributed to the accident," he said. "FRA's goal in all investigations is to determine the facts and learn how we can minimize risk to prevent a similar incident in the future."
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Huge fire after US oil train derails in North Dakota
31 December 2013 Huge fire after US oil train derails in Casselton, North Dakota.
Wagons from a mile-long train carrying crude oil have burst into flames as they derailed after a collision.
A plume of thick black smoke could be seen many miles away and explosions were heard.
The Cass County sheriff issued a voluntary evacuation for the entire town.
An investigation into the incident has been launched.
The last 50 wagons of the train had been uncoupled, but another 56 remained at risk.
The collision involved another train near an ethanol plant.
In July a train carrying oil from the Bakken oil region in North Dakota derailed near the Canadian town of Lac Megantic, killing more than 40 people.
Authorities urge evacuation of Casselton, N.D. after fiery oil train derailment
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We live in the days of Noah
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