A train from Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway derailed Wednesday morning in North Dakota. According to state emergency services, 10 of the 109 cars caught fire later. A photo posted on Facebook by a local radio shows that thick black smoke emanates from the fire.
The small village of Heimdal, which has less than fifty inhabitants, was evacuated in the wake as a preventive measure. The fire department of the municipality does not identify any wounded.
Heimdal is located along one of the major railroads for transporting oil from the Bakken deposit in North Dakota. About two-thirds of this production is transported by rail; three-quarters of this amount is destined for refineries on the US East Coast.
“We are aware of the derailment and the resulting fire near Heimdal, North Dakota,” Federal Railroad Administration official Sarah Feinberg wrote in a message posted on Twitter. Our investigators are on the way. We will keep you informed when we know more. ”
The case is reminiscent of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy , during which 47 people lost their lives when a train carrying oil derailed before firing in the heart of the municipality, July 6, 2013. A sector of the center -ville has been destroyed, and a long decontamination operation is still in progress.
Oil transported by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) also came from the Bakken field.
The volume of oil transported by rail has exploded in recent years in North America due to increased production and difficulties in the development of new pipelines.
According to a Reuters compilation, five trains caught fire after derailing in Canada or the United States since the beginning of the year. All these accidents occurred in rural areas and caused no injuries.
This type of accident remains frequent. After reviewing Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources figures, the CBC recently concluded that oil train accidents caused an average fire every three days in the province between 2000 and 2013.
Last week, Ottawa and Washington announced new safety standards for tank cars for the transportation of flammable liquids that will be built after October 1.