tags: timeline 2013, Train Incidents, energy incident
December 30, 2013 North Dakota Oil Train Derails and Explodes Near Casselton North Dakota, a soybean train derailed when then ran into a train with crude oil which exploded, causing an evacuation of the town. Investigators at the scene have found nothing wrong with the railroad track or with signals along the tracks, but a broken axle was found.
2013 train derailment On December 30, 2013, a westbound BNSF train carrying soybeans derailed approximately one mile west of Casselton. An adjacent eastbound BNSF train carrying crude oil struck wreckage from the westbound train (accident location ). The collision ignited the crude oil and caused a chain of large explosions, which were heard and felt several miles away. The resulting fireball created a massive cloud of black smoke, which prompted authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation of the city and surrounding area as a precaution. The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident.
Although no casualties were reported, the incident occurred in proximity to a populated area and renewed safety concerns regarding the transportation of hazardous materials by rail, especially in the wake of theLac-Mégantic derailment in Canada earlier in the year. Casselton mayor Ed McConnell, acknowledging that the town "dodged a bullet", publicly called on the federal government to review the dangers and urged lawmakers to consider pipelines as a safer option.