North Dakota oil train derailment involves tank cars slated for phase-out

KMSP-TV | May 6, 2015 | Report by Mike Durkin

The fiery derailment of an oil train forced the evacuation of a central North Dakota town Wednesday morning. At least 6 tank cars caught fire when the BNSF train hauling Bakken crude oil derailed at about 7:30 a.m., 2 miles outside of Heimdal, N.D

Source: Facebook / Jennifer Willis

BNSF confirmed the train cars involved in the derailment were unjacketed CPC-1232 models – the same model the federal government would like phased out by 2020.

Wells County Emergency Manager Tammy Roehrich confirmed 35 people were evacuated, but no injuries were reported. Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg said investigators were en route to the scene.

BNSF statement

“At approximately 7:30 am CDT today, a train operating approximately 50 miles east of Minot, ND derailed carrying crude oil. Initial reports from the crew indicate there are no injuries but a fire has been reported at the scene. The tank cars involved in the incident are the unjacketed CPC-1232 models. BNSF will work with the nearest first responders.”

Federal Railroad Administration statement

"A crude oil train has derailed near Heimdal, North Dakota this morning, resulting in a large fire involving several tank cars. The town of Heimdal is being evacuated. The FRA has deployed a ten person investigation team to the site and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. Today's incident is yet another reminder of why we issued a significant, comprehensive rule aimed at improving the safe transport of high hazard flammable liquids. The FRA will continue to look at all options available to us to improve safety and mitigate risks." 

Concerns in Minnesota

A new MnDOT analysis released in March shows 326,170 Minnesotans live within the half-mile evacuation zones along state oil train routes.

Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed a 10-year, $330 million plan to build safer railroad crossings, including an enhanced crossing in the middle of a densely-populated neighborhood along Como Avenue in St. Paul. The cost of the upgrades would be covered by an annual $33 million assessment and new property tax charged to the railroads. The Minnesota Railroads Association says the tax "ignores the improvements that railroads make year-after-year and the more than $500 million in safety and service improvement that railroads will be making in Minnesota this year alone."

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commented 2015-05-06 14:40:18 -0400 · Flag
We should just phase out the crude altogether.
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about North Dakota oil train derailment involves tank cars slated for phase-out on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-05-06 12:50:07 -0400
North Dakota oil train derailment involves tank cars slated for phase-out
@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2015-05-06 12:50:04 -0400
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.