A Canadian National Railway Co train carrying fuel oil and other hazardous materials derailed recently in southeast Mississippi. While the incident forced evacuation of nearby residents, fortunately no one was injured. The incident, which involved the derailment of 21 railcars, eight of which spilled their contents, has rekindled the push for stronger regulation of the railroads. Several of the cars were carrying hazardous materials including fertilizer and methanol. There was no fire resulting from the incident. The accident occurred in the city limits of New Augusta in Perry County, Miss., near a mobile home park.
The Mississippi accident follows a string of North American derailments of trains carrying crude oil in the past year, raising questions about the safety of certain older tank cars. Federal regulators have been studying railcar design and other issues after the string of explosive derailments, including one last month when a 106-car BNSF Railway Co train carrying crude east crashed into a derailed westbound BNSF grain train near Casselton, N.D. Last July, a runaway oil train derailed and exploded in the center of the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, killing 47 people.
Sources: Reuters and Theglobeandmail.com
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