Exactly two months after the latest Warren Buffett-owned BNSF train derailed near the spot where the Galena river meets the Mississippi, resulting in a huge fire and the evacuation of all homes in a one mile radius, moments ago another of Buffett's BNSF oil trains derailed, this time near the town of Heimdal, North Dakota, resulting in the same outcome.
According to the Bismark Tribune, the town in Wells County was evacuated Tuesday morning after a train full of oil tanker cars derailed and burned about a mile and half east of here.
Wells County Emergency Manager Tammy Roehrich said the BNSF Railway oil tanker train derailed around 7:30 a.m., setting six oil tanker cars on fire.
Roehrich said she couldn’t get close enough to the train to see whether it was exploding or just burning. No injuries were reported, she said.
“It looks a lot like Casselton,” she said, referring to the fiery train wreck of oil tankers near Casselton in late 2013.
As a reminder, in 2013 another oil train, also owned by Buffett's Burlington Northern, derailed and led to the evacuation of the town of Casselton, and people living in a 5 mile radius.
The 30 or so residents of Heimdal were evacuated in response to the derailment. All were staying with family or friends, Roehrich said.
Firefighters remained on the scene battling the blaze as of 9 a.m.
KFYR TV adds fire crews from Harvey, Fessenden and Maddock have all been called in to fight the fire. An official with Harvey Fire says at least 5 oil tanker cars are burning. A viewer who called reported seeing black smoke in the area.
Witness Jennifer Willis lives about a half mile from where the train derailed. She says she heard it happen this morning and it sounded like thunder.
Willis has been evacuated from her home. She tells Valley News Live the closest they've been allowed to the scene is an 1/8th of a mile and you could feel the heat.
Valley News Live has reached out to BNSF for comment. Stay with Valley News Live and ValleyNewsLive.com for more on this breaking story.
Ironically, this happens days if not hours after US federal regulators were forced to devise new rules for oil trains after 141 oil train derailments and fires in 2014. However, as RT reported earlier today, the regulations have sparked criticism from nearly all interested parties, including politicians and activists.
The trains in question are often called “bomb trains” because their black, torpedo-shaped tanks are filled with potentially explosive crude oil. They are an increasingly common sight on the nation’s rail systems as they carry a million barrels of oil per day to refineries along the East Coast.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) spent two years formulating the recently released new train rules. The regulations introduce new tank car standards for oil and ethanol, and mandate the use of electronically controlled brakes.
"The truth is that 99.9 percent of these shipments reach their destination safely," DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said to the press. "The accidents involving crude and ethanol that have occurred, though, have shown us that 99.9 percent isn't enough. We have to strive for perfection."
And hours later we have this:
For those concerned that these countless and destructive BNSF derailments could lead to something, here is one photo which explains better than 1000 words ever could, why the outcome of all these pipelines trains exploding will lead to absolutely nothing.