Massive Fireball From North Dakota Oil Train Derailment Caught On Tape

Tyler Durden's picture


Wind is taking toxic smoke towards areas southeast of Casselton, ND, after train derailment. Residents urged to stay indoors

A train has derailed west of Casselton, North Dakota just before 2:20 p.m. Monday. As Valley News Live reports, several area emergency teams are on scene and are setting up an incident command center. Emergency crews are urging people to stay inside and a code red alert has been sent out to residents in a two mile radius of the accident. The Casselton Fire Department says a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train is involved. An unknown number of cars derailed, but Valley News Live reports is told one bulk oil car is on fire and toxic black smoke is being released.



The explosion:

Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks


Local media is reporting a second train hit the already derailed cars...

More images...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
RacerX's picture

Looks like good news for those trapped Global Warming scientists.

Millivanilli's picture

I live and work in this area(williston- have more than a few thoughts on the shale oil boom).   Should be interesting.

RacerX's picture

Well it appears there really is some kind of oil "boom" there.

Joking aside, let's hope nobody was injured/killed.

mophead's picture

Just another Agenda 21 orchestrated catastrophe. Gotta demonize efficiency and productivity. As always, expect to see energy prices go up.

gmrpeabody's picture

Looks like something else may be going up....

TeamDepends's picture

Cameras everywhere?  Note to self:  Never do anything which may be construed as garish, brutish, in poor taste, misogynistic, gay, anti-establishment, priggish, twerkish, naughty, spontaneous, obscene, oafish, nutty, patriotic, boorish, threatening, or kooky outside of the bathroom as it will certainly be recorded for posterity.  Even then, be careful.

Raynja's picture

leave the cell phone outside of the bathrrom and shut the door.  you should be ok, unless you have an 'admirer' (who, obviously,  doesn't work for the nsa) running a website with you as the star.

Clint Liquor's picture

Obama withholding approval of the XL pipeline due to environmental concerns. Right! Real reason: Profits for Red Team (Buffet) no profits for Blue Team (Koch Bros.).

dunce's picture

There are easily available safety statistics to inform any decision about transporting by rail or pipeline, but they are never presented. Only anecdotle reports of pipeline rutures. A comparison of ton miles per accident would show pipelines have smaller amounts of spills and fewer fatalities. Facts, we don't need no stinkin facts.

aVileRat's picture

Brain melting.

Nobody was killed. The crude carriers are designed to contain their load in the event of derailment however the tanker cars were designed for dilbit (dliuent added bitumenous oil) and the lighter Bakken "sweet" crude oil has gas condensates in the fluid. When placed under pressure these liquids tend to have a lower flash point, which causes them to erupt vs. standard crude carried for the last 20 years via rail. Kerosene condensates and end-tail radicals are often the causes of light chemical flashes.

Anyways, back on topic:

- Train was going too fast for the conditions. Lines were not ice checked.

- Lacked a buffer between the cars, so that when the train derailed and snapped the cars went sideways. Led to tanker car collisions and the stack ignited.

Does this happen all the time ? Nope. Only when switch and driver are too lazy because their oversight gives zero shits before Xmas bonus. Does this happen more than a pipeline fracture in the casing ? Totally yes. Will NYC or L.A. drivers give a fuck ? Nope. There is not going to even be a blip in the crude price going into Feb. 2014. by this line disruption.

Net effect ? Nothing. With an election year, and the DNC being about a hundred million in debt, Obama will do jack shit to monitor US rail shipping regulations. His focus will be on the soaring obamacare enrollment, squelching the NSA scandal and trying to pump King Coal to get the 'vote' out for his at risk jurisdictions.

For all the shit Hunter Harrison got following Lac Magantiq, there is an excellent pulitzer prize waiting for whoever wants to do an investigative report on how BNSF snuck below the radar for the 3 years. Every year crude export permits were approved with zero protest while Keystone bore the full brunt of 'shale oil' "outrage".


A Nanny Moose's picture

"Don't know. Got to do with where choo choo go."

..of some old phart named Warren?

Millivanilli's picture

If you think crude oil makes that boom, you need to take remedial chemistry class.

ZerOhead's picture

Probably just the hot pressurised gases blowing another tanker apart and igniting upon release

But yes... this isn't your grand-daddies oil anymore.

kill switch's picture

Another fucking example of our sound rail beds,,,this place is going to shit!!!!

TeamDepends's picture

So a second train barrels into the already derailed train?  Lemme guess, the conductor was on his cell....

Mike2756's picture

Grain train derailed into the oil tanker train.

Uber Vandal's picture

Railroads are beginning to use remote control locomotives, at least in yard switching operations, and have begun to look into using them on road freight service.

Also, many railroads have cut the crew size down to next to nothing, run the crews rather ragged, and run longer, heavier trains which take longer time and DISTANCE to stop.

If your train is a mile long, you have a problem, the next train is a mile behind you, takes a mile for that train to stop, you don't have much room for error now, do you?

But hey, a burning tank car or two makes MUCH better copy than tens of thousands of gallons of oil that leaked into the ground from a pipeline accident.

Oath_Keeper's picture

DM&E isn't using that tech, think Lionel for remotes.. The UNION has driven the crews to skeletons, check your facts as to the WHY.


And, we don't get mile-long trains backed by another, lest we get an ass-pounding. You are calling us stupid?


If it were hundreds of thousands, I wouldn't care less so long as nobody died. I can really use some global warming bullshit to heat us up here in north dakota.

dark pools of soros's picture

make the fat CEOs run the trains if you think the Unions are the problem..  why don't you check the wage ratios the last 40 years and say how shit is better this way?


In fact just outsource all management for a change to really cut costs

Uber Vandal's picture

BNSF and CP is using that technology, and the DM&E was bought out by the CP.

Once one's ground water has a nice oily flavoring to it, one may be a bit more concerned.

Then again, perhaps not.

BTW, how is that DM&E Powder River Coal basin route coming along?


Millivanilli's picture

Hot pressurized gasses?   From oil?  Under shipping standards?  No way. 

ZerOhead's picture

You gotsta heat it up to crack it up... (thermal cracking)

It looked just like the time when I backed up my Pinto with a propane cylinder in the back into a fire hydrant...

Millivanilli's picture

 The rate of cracking and the end products are strongly dependent on the temperature and presence of catalysts




ZerOhead's picture

The flames are slightly above however...

Millivanilli's picture

Thermal cracking was the first category of hydrocarbon cracking to be developed. Thermal cracking is an example of a reaction whose energetics are dominated by entropy (?S°) rather than by enthalpy (?H°) in the Gibbs Free Energy equation ?G°=?H°-T?S°. Although the bond dissociation energy D for a carbon-carbon single bond is relatively high (about 375 kJ/mol) and cracking is highly endothermic, the large positive entropy change resulting from the fragmentation of one large molecule into several smaller pieces, together with the extremely high temperature, makes T?S° term larger than the ?H° term, thereby favoring the cracking reaction.



ZerOhead's picture

This isn't the first time that Bakken oil has caused explosions...

"Some shale oil has been found to contain hydrogen sulphide vapour — a flammable, corrosive, and highly explosive compound. Bakken crude is known to hold considerable amounts of flammable hydrogen sulphide gas."

Millivanilli's picture

Catalysts.  cough...


From your article.

He was later asked if the contents of the ill-fated Lac-Megantic tankers might have contained a liquid stronger than jet fuel.

“We’re not prepared to say anything at this point. What we want to say is we’re checking that for everybody,” he said. “We’ve taken samples of the product, we’ve sent it away for analysis, we’re going to wait for the results of those analyses to understand exactly what the properties were….

“I think for most people that arrived on the site, they were quite surprised at the extent of the fire and the subsequent explosions that occurred.”


I call bullshit.

Seize Mars's picture


Dude, are you a "I must have the last word" guy or what?

What is it with oil drilling workers? You have any internet article related to hydrocarbons and you are bound to get some "I must have the last word" genius expert who tells everyone else they are stupid and so on.


Millivanilli's picture



But I do have Phd in  Physical Chemistry.  But no, I'm a dumbass.

Seize Mars's picture


Relax. Nobody said you're a dumbass.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

You have being a "dick" confused with being dumb. I can assure you that you are a "dick".

Millivanilli's picture

Thanks.  I think freedom depends on people being dicks.   You know,  standing up for shit is real dicky.

ZerOhead's picture

"Chemical engineer Gregory Patience, who studies explosions in petroleum and fossil fuels, looked up a safety data sheet published by Cenovus on its Bakken product.

The oil’s flammability classification is the highest there is, level 4 — the same as methane gas and propane, which are also frequently moved by pipeline.

In the case of a spill, the Bakken oil could ignite, with a spark, at 20C. To ignite in the absence of a spark would require temperatures of 250C, Patience said."

No foul play here... it's just the Bakken oil and it's here to stay until it's gone in a couple of years...

Millivanilli's picture

You are a fucktard.  Sorry.

Spanky's picture

Are you arguing that catalysts were added to the oil tankers during loading to facilitate refining? Or...

Millivanilli's picture

Something is very fishy.  THat is what I am saying.

i-dog's picture

I'm just a lowly chemical engineer (therefore not in the same league as some of the rocket scientists commenting here), so take this with a grain of salt ... but I think that sparks and heat from derailed steel wheels sliding on steel track might cause quite considerable heat ... waiting for spilled oil to hit them. Just sayin'.

A possible cause of the derailment could easily have been a failed and red-hot bearing (at 1,800ºF). Enough of a "catalyst"?

Freddie's picture

Warren Buffet's death trains.

Abitdodgie's picture

Millivanilli ,williston is no where near Casselton its about 300 miles away , I went near there today (Aruther 10 miles away) did not see shit but there again this is North Dakota things are always on fire , oil trains rolling back and forth across the boarder for the subs from uncle sugar, I did see a few dead dear .

Abitdodgie's picture

The white steam in the forground is the beet factory.

Sudden Debt's picture

it's actually the reason they'll use why oil will go up 1$ per gallon

Mike2756's picture

Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Because pipelines are SO dangerous......

oddjob's picture

.....but ceding public lands to private corporations is.

A Nanny Moose's picture

That is the primary purpose of "public lands." Government has no business in real estate, other than to subsidize corporations.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

boy just think if they put a pipeline in using accepted practice, with the usual safety measures (esvs) and operators to properly maintain and inspect it you might just limit things like this. But then Warren Buffet would be hysterical at loss of profit, and the enviros would be hysterical at the environmental (lol) impact.

TeamDepends's picture

Isn't North Dakota the only state left with its' own central bank?  Man, those Fedcoms never sleep.