Dec 31 Most of a small North Dakota town has
been evacuated after a train carrying crude oil crashed into
another train that had derailed, officials said on Tuesday.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney told CNN that 10 to 12 cars
of the 106-car BNSF Railway Co oil train were still burning
about a mile (1.6 km) west of the town of Casselton. No injuries
About 65 percent of the 2,300 residents left under a
non-mandatory evacuation, Laney said, adding that local
authorities had carried out drills for such emergencies.
"The main areas that are real hot areas that we were worried
about are pretty well empty," he said.
The westerly wind was expected to shift during the morning
and push the smoke away from the town. Officials may then decide
when residents can go home, Laney said.
The BNSF train on Monday struck a 112-car train carrying
soybeans that had derailed. The crash set about 21 cars on fire
and no injuries were reported, BNSF, a unit of Berkshire
Hathaway Inc, said in a statement.
It said BNSF emergency response crews and hazardous material
teams were sent to the site.
The crash was the latest in a string of accidents that have
raised alarms over the growing oil-by-rail traffic from shale
oil production out of North Dakota's Bakken fields. More than
two-thirds of the state's oil production is shipped by rail.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey