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December train derailment carrying Bakken Crude could be sabotage

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A train carrying Bakken Crude derailed and caught fire in Custer, Washington, on Dec. 22, 2020, about 100 miles north of Seattle. Now, a rail union official has told investigators that the derailment was an act of sabotage.

Seven tanker cars that ran off the tracks and caught fire in Washington might not have been an accident.

The Associated Press reports that the December incident isn’t the first of its kind. A month before the derailment, two people had been arrested nearby for attempting to disrupt the train tracks. North Dakota oil leaders say any attack should be taken seriously.

“If it is sabotage, that is a sad statement, and in my opinion, an act of terrorism,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

However, the FBI, the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board must finish their investigations and inquiries before an official cause of the derailment is determined.

“This is a serious act. We’ve been concerned about things like this. Companies certainly try to take precautions, but to go out and to try to derail a train to disrupt the flow of oil, that tells us the types of people that are obstructionists in this country,” said Ness.

Ness says he’s concerned about the trend this could be creating.

“There’s just something about this that’s becoming a business of terrorism, it’s not just a few passionate people anymore, this is big business, the obstructionists, the anti-fossil fuels crowd,” said Ness.

Federal statutes declare interference with critical infrastructure is a form of terrorism.

BNSF Railway refused comment on the cause of the accident, as their investigation is ongoing.

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