Skip to main content

Train in fiery derailment in Virginia was hauling North Dakota crude

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Thirteen train cars derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia yesterday, setting off an explosion and fireball that rocked the nearby area and prompted the evacuation of homes and businesses. No one was injured in the inferno.

In news that is sure to spark additional debate about safety, the Associated Press reports that the 105-car CSX train involved in the incident was carrying crude oil that originated in the Bakken shale region in North Dakota. WSET, the ABC affiliate in Lynchburg, reported that at least 50,000 gallons of crude is missing after the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board has a team of specialists at the scene to examine the train and condition of the track.

Concern is growing about the flammability of Bakken crude. Federal officials in January issued a safety alert with a warning that the oil pumped in the region may be more flammable — and more dangerous — than other forms of oil.

State lawmakers have responded by saying there needs to be an increase in rail oil safety oversight. Nine or 10 trains a day haul crude oil eastward from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields – seven or eight of those trains go through Minnesota, most through the heart of the Twin Cities, Dave Christianson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation told the House Transportation Committee.

Lawmakers stepped up their scrutiny of oil shipments by rail after a train carrying crude oil collided with another train near Casselton, North Dakota in December. Last summer, a train loaded with Bakken crude derailed in a small town in Quebec, killing 47 and destroying 30 buildings.

Sen. Al Franken has called for more federal oversight of oil transport by rail. He has joined Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D in urging the creation of a Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund. The fund would pay for more safety inspections, disaster response training, studies and community outreach. The senators also want funding to hire more inspectors.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.

ambulance

One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Related