Tracks reopen after ND oil train derailment, fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2014 at 8:16 am •  Published: January 2, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — BNSF Railway trains began rumbling through Casselton again early Thursday, three days after a train carrying explosive crude oil derailed and caught fire about a mile from the southeastern North Dakota town.

One of the two lines going through the town reopened at 3 a.m. and the second about 15 minutes later, the railroad said in a statement.

"Trains are operating on that route now and have been since the tracks reopened," BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth told The Associated Press shortly before dawn. "There have been no issues with operations there."

A westbound train carrying grain derailed first Monday afternoon, and a portion of it fell onto an adjacent track carrying the eastbound oil train. Eighteen cars on the 106-car oil train derailed and several exploded and burned.

No one was hurt, but many of the 2,400 residents of Casselton evacuated until Tuesday afternoon because of potentially unsafe air.

Rail traffic was rerouted on other lines while cleanup and repair work was done, but BNSF said some shipments moving through the corridor might be delayed for up to 36 hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into the cause of the wreck. An initial probe showed no problems with the tracks or signals, but officials said they would investigate whether a broken axle found at the scene was a factor.

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