Trains Collide, Derail And Explode In North Dakota



A 106-car mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed just a mile before it would have cut through the heart of Casselton, a small North Dakota town. It shook residents with a series of explosions that sent flames and black smoke skyward. No one was hurt in the accident but officials were evacuating as many as 300 people as a precaution.

The BNSF Railway Company train left the tracks about 2:30 p.m. Monday and as many as 10 cars caught fire. They were still burning four hours later as darkness fell and authorities said they would be allowed to burn themselves out. Authorities hadn’t yet been able to untangle exactly how the derailment happened but a second train carrying grain was involved. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the train carrying grain derailed first, then knocked several cars of the oil train off adjoining tracks.

Cass County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tara Morris said the evacuation of a section of the town was a precaution in case of a wind shift. A think smoke plume from the burning cars was largely staying to the southeast of town. Casselton has about 2,400 residents and is about 25 miles west of Fargo.

The derailment happened amid increased concerns about the United States’ increased reliance on rail to carry crude oil. Fears of catastrophic derailments were particularly stoked after last summer’s crash in Canada of a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch. Forty-seven people died in the ensuing fire.

Morris said it could take up to 12 hours before authorities could get close to the fire but Casselton’s residents were told to stay indoors as soon as the blasts began. The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter at the high school for evacuees. Jeff Zent, a spokesman for Governor Jack Dalrymple said the National Guard was on alert if needed.

Hannah Linnard, 13, said she was in the bedroom of her friend’s house about half a mile from the derailment, wrapping late Christmas presents. “I looked out the window and all of a sudden the train car tipped over and the whole thing was engulfed in flames and it just exploded. The oil car tipped over onto the grain car,” she said.

State health officials were in Casselton and planned to check for health hazards once the fires are out, said Dave Glatt, director of the Health Department’s environmental health section.

To see a short video of the ensuing fire, click here:


Previous articleThe Things The Cost Of A Movie Trailer Could Buy
Next articleMarita Noon: Why Is Fracking Still An Explosive Isssue
After serving in the United States Navy for 22 years I retired from the service late in 1991. Having always loved the southwest, shortly after retiring, I moved to the Albuquerque area where I have resided since. Initially I worked as a contractor for approximately 6 years doing cable construction work. That becoming a little dangerous, at an elevated age, I moved into the retail store management environment managing convenience stores for roughly 16 years. With several disabilities, I am now fully retired and am getting more involved with helping Pastor Dewey & Pastor Paul with their operations at FGGAM which pleases my heart greatly as it truly is - "For God's Glory Alone". I met my precious wife Sandy here in Albuquerque and we have been extremely happily married for 18 years and I am the very proud father to Sandy's wonderful children, Tiana, our daughter, Ryan & Ross, our two sons, and proud grandparents to 5 wonderful grandchildren. We attend Christ Full Deliverance Ministries in Rio Rancho which is lead by Pastor's Marty & Paulette Cooper along with Elder Mable Lopez as regular members. Most of my time is now spent split between my family, my church & helping the Pastors by writing here on the FGGAM website and doing everything I can to support this fantastic ministry in the service of our Lord. Praise to GOD & GOD Bless to ALL! UPDATED 2021: Rick and Sandy moved to Florida a few years ago. We adore them and we pray for Rick as he misses Sandy so very, very much!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.