Casselton explosion: ‘Wake-up call’Casselton, ND (WDAY TV) - With hundreds of trains traveling through our area daily, many carrying crude oil, city leaders say this accident sounds as a booming wake-up call.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Casselton, ND (WDAY TV) - With hundreds of trains traveling through our area daily, many carrying crude oil, city leaders say this accident sounds as a booming wake-up call.
The Bakken Boom alone is producing more than 820,000 barrels each day, sending rail transportation through our state skyrocketing.
Right now, the once-busy railroad town is at a standstill.
Mayor Ed McConnell- Casselton Mayor: “With the traffic, in my mind, it's not a matter of if… It's when.”
The “when” came Monday afternoon; fierce, fiery explosions coming from derailed cars hauling crude oil.
Dennis Walaker- Fargo Mayor: “That plume; I mean that was like 100 feet in the air, my goodness.”
Rail shipments of crude oil are up 50% nationwide.
Casselton alone sees roughly 50 trains each day, some hauling this flammable material.
McConnell: “There are a lot of oil trains coming through town. There's so many and there have been several derailments out in that area.”
Trains like this come from the Bakken and carry oil east.
Walaker: “Could it happen here in Fargo? Absolutely.”
In Fargo, on a given day, more than 120 trains cross through town. Some can have 100 or more tank cars with 30,000 gallons of crude oil each; roughly the size of a large swimming pool.
Walaker: “It could've been a lot worse than it actually was. It could've; there could've been a derailment in the city and there is no way to contain that. It's been proven by many, many accidents across the county.”
Now sending booming reminders of the Bakken oil boom exploding in our very own backyards…
Walaker: “Are we concerned? Absolutely, we're concerned.”
Right now, there are 92,000 tank cars hauling flammable liquids in the US.
The Association of American Railroads has cited at least 80% of those for safety concerns.
All of the cars that derailed in Casselton are part of that 80%.