Trending: Increase in oil train crashes leads to tougher safety standards
Here’s a look at how the rules are changing, training for oil train crashes, and some of the more recent crashes around the country
The May 6 derailment of an oil train in North Dakota that caused the evacuation of a nearby town after 10 tanker cars caught fire is the most recent in a spike in oil train derailments and crashes, and why the U.S. and Canada have called for stricter safety regulations.
Firefighters and EMS providers have responded to calls for incidents across the country involving oil trains. Collisions and crashes have led to giant explosions that challenged firefighters, chemical leaks, evacuations of neighborhoods and districts, and deaths.
The incidents prompted the U.S. and Canada to require stricter safety regulations for tankers. Here’s a look at how the rules are changing, training for oil train crashes, and some of the more recent crashes around the country.
Rail tank cars used to transport crude oil and many other flammable liquids will have to be built to stronger standards to reduce the risk of a catastrophic train crash and fire. The tougher standards won’t fully take effect until 2020.
Under the rules, new tank cars carrying the most volatile liquids, including crude oil and ethanol, must have an outer shell, a thermal lining to withstand fire, improved valves and thicker, 9/16ths-inch steel walls to keep them from rupturing.
First-responders said they train continually and have mutual aid agreements for worst-case scenarios. But all the forethought in the world could be trumped by issues beyond their control, authorities warn.
Ten tanker cars caught fire after an oil train derailed and caught fire on May 6 in a rural area of central North Dakota, prompting the evacuation of a nearby town. No injuries were reported in the crash.
In early March a freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in northern Illinois, bursting into flames and prompting officials to suggest that everyone with 1 mile evacuate
Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed during a February snowstorm in West Virginia, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents
About 50 residents in a southeast Mississippi town were evacuated after 18 cars of an 85-car train derailed in February, spilling chemicals. Cars were carrying hazardous materials including fuel oil and methanol and there were reports of fuel oil leaking