The small North Dakota town of Heimdal, located east of the state’s Bakken shale formation, was evacuated Wednesday after a BSNF oil train derailed and caught fire.
“Black smoke was visible for miles just after the early-morning accident as more than 300,000 gallons of crude oil burned. Emergency responders from five communities set up a command center near scorched wheat fields adjacent to the train tracks,” Reuters reports. “By evening, crews were erecting berms to protect nearby wetlands and preparing foam to attempt to smother the last of the flames. However, officials still had not lifted the evacuation order.”
The non-jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars involved in the derailment will be obsolete within five years under new safety rules unveiled by the U.S. and Canadian government just a few days ago. “About two-thirds of all North Dakota oil production is shipped by rail, three-quarters of that to refiners on the U.S. East Coast,” Scheyder and Hays write. (h/t to Midwest Energy News for pointing us to this story)