Train collision in North Dakota ignites oil tankers; no injuries immediately reported

Dec 30, 2013 5:32 PM

By Daniella Silva, NBC News

A collision between two trains caused a freight train carrying crude oil to derail in North Dakota on Monday afternoon, triggering an explosion and sending flames shooting more than 100 feet into the air. No injuries were immediately reported.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and local emergency crews responded to reports of a derailment near the city of Casselton, N.D., and discovered the oil train burning, with up to 10 cars fully engulfed, said sheriff’s Sgt. Tara Morris.

The train derailed on the Jamestown line at approximately 2 p.m. local time, Amy McBeth, spokeswoman for BNSF Railway told NBC News, adding that no further information was immediately available.

“There was an explosion, where a car let loose and there was a giant fireball, hundreds of feet in the air,” said Assistant Chief Gary Lorenz of the City of Fargo Fire Department, who was in touch with a crew on the scene.

“It’s burning very strong right now,” he said. “You can see the plume of smoke for 25 miles.”

NBC affiliate KVLY in Fargo, N.D., reported that the train emitted a cloud of toxic smoke but that prevailing winds were blowing the smoke away from Casselton.

A Federal Railroad Administration spokesman told NBC News it was sending investigators to the scene.


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