Huge N.D. oil spill burns into second day; weather shift threatens Casselton
BNSF Railway Co. said it believed about 20 cars caught fire after its oil train left the tracks about 2:10 p.m. Monday. The sheriff's office said it thought 10 cars were on fire.
The cars continued to burn past sunset, and authorities said they would be allowed to burn out.
The Democrats weigh in:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the incident raises concerns about rail safety, especially given the increase in the use of rail to transport oil.
"We're just seeing an enormous increase," she told MPR's Morning Edition. "We need to upgrade our rail lines and make sure it's safe."
Klobuchar said she has also supported pipeline expansion, as long as adequate measures are put in place to ensure safety.
"We've seen problems with them, too, but clearly pipelines are part of the solution here," she said.
God forbid a carbon-negative economy could be part of the solution!
UPDATE Oil is bad, bad stuff. "Light" and "sweet" are such misnomers:
The fire had been so intense as darkness fell that investigators couldn't even get close enough to count the number of burning cars. Some burned through the night.
"Is it highly hazardous or did most of it burn off in the fire?" Casselton Sheriff Paul Laney said of elements in burning crude that could be risky for health. "We just don't know."
The derailment shook the town with a series of explosions that sent flames and black smoke skyward. Health experts said they did not yet have results on the air quality early Tuesday.
Sheriff's Deputy Joe Crawford said the fire died down overnight, "but we've still got plenty of smoke and plenty of fire and plenty of heat."
Laney said much of Casselton's water tower was covered in soot and that he expects to see a lot of the black powder around town as the day progresses.
"Wait until you see the footprints in the snow later on," he said. "That's the stuff coming out of the sky."
Yes. The smoke doesn't just "blow away."