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NTSB: 400,000 gallons of oil lost in ND derailment

BISMARCK, N.D.—Federal investigators have determined that 400,000 gallons of oil was lost last month when a train derailed and caught fire in North Dakota, according to a report released Monday.
The derailment on Dec. 30 has highlighted concerns about shipping crude by rail. It also led to a safety alert from the U.S. Department of Transportation warning about the potential high volatility of crude from the Bakken oil patch in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report released Monday, the eastbound train derailed after crashing into a grain car that had fallen onto the track after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed. The NTSB is studying what role a broken axle might have played in the derailment of the grain train.

The derailments of the two BNSF Railway trains sparked massive explosions about a mile from Casselton, a town of about 2,400 residents in southeast North Dakota. No one was hurt, but about 1,400 people voluntarily evacuated.

How much of the 400,000 gallons of oil that was lost in the derailment burned off and how much spilled into the ground is unclear.

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