Former ND governor calls for new railroad rules

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2014 at 11:47 am •  Published: January 8, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Former North Dakota governor and Casselton native George Sinner said Wednesday that the derailment of crude oil tankers outside his hometown shows the "ridiculous threat" to communities across the state and elsewhere.

The accident happened when a train carrying soybeans derailed in front of a BNSF Railway oil train, causing that train to also derail and setting off a fire and series of massive explosions. There were no injuries, but Casselton residents were told to evacuate their homes as a massive plume hung over the town of 2,800 people.

Sinner, who was the North Dakota governor from 1985-92, is pushing for a special hearing with federal regulators and community leaders who are affected by oil train traffic in the U.S. and Canada.

In the meantime, the Democrat says speed limits for trains should be lowered and the railroads must take older, less reliable tankers out of service.

"We must get some changes. This is a ridiculous threat," Sinner told KFGO radio ( ). "Think of the people in Valley City and Jamestown and Bismarck. Every town like that is a sitting duck. If an explosion like that happened in any of those towns, God help us."

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