Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Train carrying oil derails, causes fireball

31 December 2013, 12:43

Casselton - Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town on Monday night after a mile-long (1.6km) train carrying crude oil derailed outside of town, shaking residents with a series of explosions that sent flames and black smoke skyward.

The Cass County sheriff's office said it was "strongly recommending" that people in the town of Casselton and anyone living 8km to the south and east evacuate. A shelter has been set up in Fargo, which is about 40km away. Casselton has about 2 400 residents.

The sheriff's office said the National Weather Service was forecasting a shift in the weather that could increase the risk of potential health hazards.

"That's going to put the plume right over the top of Casselton," Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said at a news briefing.

As many as 10 cars out of more than 100 caught fire when the BNSF Railway Co. train left the tracks at about 14:30 local time on Monday. No one was hurt.

The cars were still burning as darkness fell, and authorities said they would be allowed to burn out.


Authorities hadn't yet been able to determine exactly how the derailment happened, but a second train carrying grain was involved. BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth said the train carrying grain derailed first, then knocked several cars of the oil train off adjoining tracks.

Ryan Toop, who lives about 800 metres away, said he heard explosions and drove as close as about two city blocks to the fire, which erupted on a day when temperatures were -18 Celsius.

"I rolled down the window, and you could literally keep your hands warm," Toop said.

The derailment happened amid increased concerns about the United States' increased reliance on rail to carry crude oil. Fears of catastrophic derailments were particularly stoked after last July's crash in a Quebec town of a runaway train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil patch. Forty-seven people died in the ensuing fire.

- AP

Tags us

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Kikuyu 2022 vote will go to Peter...

The 2022 Kikuyu vote will go to Peter Kenneth, a Rift Valley Governor has warned DP William Ruto. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
CORD threatens to boycott 2017 po...

The CORD Coalition says that it will be forced to boycott the 2017 elections if there is no new voter register in place by the time. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Disgraced Jeptoo stripped of 2014...

Organizers of the Boston Marathon are stripping Kenyan runner Rita Jeptoo of her 2014 victory as part of the athlete's newly extended doping ban. Read more...