Fires extinguished after BNSF oil train derails in North Dakota

BNSF reported that fires have been extinguished in Heimdal, ND, following the May 6 derailment of a train carrying crude oil.

Six cars caught fire, according to a BNSF news release. The train comprised 109 total cars, of which 107 were loaded with crude. The tank cars involved in the incident are the unjacketed CPC-1232 models that US government officials are hoping to soon phase out (OGJ Online, May 1, 2015; May 6, 2015). Hess Corp., a major leaseholder in the Bakken shale, was shipping the crude.

No injuries were reported. Local residents were evacuated soon after the incident, but were advised in the evening of May 6 that they could return to their homes.

BNSF says it has removed a majority of the crude oil from the derailed tank cars. Upon completion of the NTSB’s investigation, the derailed cars will be moved from the site and the remaining clean up and track repairs will commence.

The Heimdal derailment represents the latest of several that have occurred over the past couple of years. In February a CSX train carrying Bakken crude in CPC 1232 tank cars derailed and caught fire near Mount Carbon, W.Va. (OGJ Online, Feb. 17, 2015).

Most notably in 2013, a train operated by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway—a division of Rail World Inc.—carrying 72 carloads of Bakken crude derailed in Lac Megantic, Que., causing fires and explosions that destroyed much of the town and left 47 people dead (OGJ Online, Aug. 20, 2014).

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