Nation & World News

Train Derailment In North Dakota Causes Explosion, Fire

By Scott Neuman on December 30th, 2013

A dozen oil tanker rail cars burst into flames after two trains collided in eastern North Dakota on Monday.

No one was hurt during the derailment or fire, but thick black smoke was rolling off the wreckage after five explosions rocked the town of Casselton, about 10 miles west of Fargo.

The collision occurred after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed, and an eastbound train hauling crude oil ran into it, Cecily Fong, the public information officer with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, tells Reuters.

“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 [Berkshire] Hathaway Inc.”

The Associated Press quotes Casselton City Auditor Sheila Klevegard as saying one blast shook the windows of City Hall.

“Klevegard said she looked out to see a huge plume and fireball about a mile from town.

“No one has been reported hurt in the derailment or fire. By late Monday afternoon, the smoke plume was diminishing and was staying mostly away from town.”

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Sheriff Urges Residents To Evacuate Town:

The Associated Press reports that the sheriff’s office is urging residents of Casselton to evacuate after the derailment.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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