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Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif., Published January 06 2014

Letter: Perhaps more safety measures?

As many as 20 cars of a BNSF Railway train derailed and caught fire near the small town of Casselton, N.D., about 25 miles from Fargo. Fortunately, no one was reported as hurt.

What made the situation particularly dangerous was that some of the cars were carrying crude oil, which precipitated evacuation of nearby areas. It was only last summer that a train crashed in Quebec that was carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Patch, with 47 people dying in the ensuing fire.

Since the number of crude oil carloads hauled on trains have increased by more than 40 times in the past five years in the U.S., we can expect such serious accidents to increase, with about 90 percent of North Dakota’s oil expected to be carried by train in 2014.

Perhaps additional safety precautions need to be taken now that trains are carrying dramatically more crude oil, which is highly flammable.