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4 oil train accidents occurred this year in U.S., Canada

Crew members walk near the scene of a train derailment Feb. 17 near Mount Carbon, W.Va. (Associated Press)
Crew members walk near the scene of a train derailment Feb. 17 near Mount Carbon, W.Va. (Associated Press)

Sweeping regulations to boost the safety of trains transporting crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids were announced Friday by U.S. and Canadian officials.

The long-awaited regulations are a response to a series of oil train accidents in both countries. The worst came on July 5, 2013, when a runaway Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train that had been left unattended derailed, spilling oil and catching fire inside the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec. Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings burned in the town’s center. About 1.6 million gallons of oil was spilled.

Here are accidents that have occurred this year:

Feb. 14, 2015: A 100-car Canadian National Railway train hauling crude oil and petroleum distillates derailed in a remote part of Ontario, Canada. The blaze it ignited burned for days.

Feb. 16, 2015: A 109-car CSX oil train derailed and caught fire near Mount Carbon, West Virginia, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning a house to its foundation. The blaze burned for most of week.

March 10, 2015: 21 cars of a 105-car Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train hauling oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota derailed about 3 miles outside Galena, Illinois, a town of about 3,000 in the state’s northwest corner.

March 7, 2015: A 94-car Canadian National Railway crude oil train derailed about 3 miles outside the Northern Ontario town of Gogama. The resulting fire destroyed a bridge. The accident was only 23 miles from the Feb. 14 derailment.

Associated Press

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