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Train explosion in Texas triggers North Dakota rail safety officials

(CNN)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:29 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - An explosion in Texas on Tuesday morning was caused by the collision of a semi-truck and a train with 110 cars.

Law enforcement from the area said the train was carrying gasoline and coal.

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission said events like this are concerning because our state’s trains are often carrying high-risk materials as well.

“We are just a high energy and ag state and a lot of the materials to support those industries or to support the transport of their products is carried by rail. So we depend on the rail systems and they go right through the center of almost every single North Dakota community,” said Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak added the oil industry’s fears over the potential for the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline are real. She said before the pipeline was operating, about 14 fully loaded trains were leaving North Dakota every day, increasing the amount of high-risk materials on our rail systems.

“It is concerning to think that we’re going to have to go back to the less desirable, less safe, less environmentally sound way of transporting crude oil if Dakota Access is shut down. I hope that’s not the case,” said Commissioner Fedorchak.

A decision from the Army Corps of Engineers on whether the pipeline will shut down or continue operating has been pushed back two months until April 9.

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