rail

Originally posted on Reuters. 

A BNSF train carrying crude oil owned by Hess Corp derailed and caught fire in North Dakota on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of a nearby small town just days after the United States and Canada announced reforms to improve the safety of such shipments.

About 40 residents from the tiny Wells County town of Heimdal were evacuated after 10 tank cars left the rails, fire officials and the state’s emergency management agency said.

There were no injuries, officials said.

Still, other experts said railroads must do a better job of upgrading their existing networks to prevent derailments in the first place.

“We can make our tank cars as robust as possible, but that’s not the issue,” said Brigham McCown, who ran DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration from 2005 through 2007. “The issue is keeping the trains on the tracks.”