Explosive Train Carrying Crude Oil Creates Evacuation in North Dakota

Association of Construction & Development
January 2, 2014 — 1,786 views  

A giant fireball triggered by the collision between a train carrying crude oil and another train, which led to the evacuation of many residents in North Dakota. The train carrying crude oil exploded, but thankfully no one got hurt in the accident.

Smoke Poses a Threat

However, as the fireball led to the release of strong smoke and fumes, the Sheriff's Office of Cass County recommended the evacuation of residents of Casselton. Other than that, people living anywhere within five miles to the east and south of the town were said to be evacuated as they too had potential health risks. Shelters have been made available for these people in Fargo, which lies at a distance of 25 miles from Casselton.

Apart from going ahead with the evacuation process, the sheriff’s office also informed that the National Weather Service has forecasted a shift in the wind which will push down the plume of the smoke. This is likely to lead to posing health risks to people staying in surrounding areas, being another reason for the quick evacuation process.

What Exactly Happened?

The train carrying crude oil happened to hit another goods train carrying grains. This caused an explosion that resulted in flames shooting up to 100 feet in the air. Authorities revealed that around 10 cars of the train got fully engulfed in the fire. Gary Lorenz, Assistant Chief of the City of Fargo Fire Department, mentioned that one of the cars got loose and exploded resulting in a giant fireball. He also added that the fire is going very strong for now and plumes of smoke can be seen for around 25 miles.

Cecily Fong who is a public information officer for the North Dakota Emergency Services explained that the collision took place near a street intersection around two-thirty in the afternoon. Both the trains, the one that was derailed and the one that was carrying crude oil, were owned by BNSF.

Fong further mentioned that Federal Aviation Administration was also planning to go ahead with implementing certain flight restrictions at the location due to the excessive smoke coming out.

Spokesman for Federal Railroad Administration, Kevin Thompson, said that the agency is still looking into the investigations and has sent investigators to the scene. Investigative teams of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration are working with National Transportation Safety Board to look into relevant facts.

Association of Construction & Development