Oil train accident attorneys note two disturbing reports in the wake of the February 2015 West Virginia oil train derailment. One deals with the rerouting of oil trains through the town of Pembroke, Virginia, without the prior knowledge or consent of the townspeople. The other anticipates up to 10 oil train derailments per year over the next two decades.
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Reuters: Amid Controversy, Oil Trains Quietly
Rerouted Through Virginia Towns
According to a February 20, 2015 article published by Reuters:
“CSX Corp is temporarily rerouting up to five oil trains through this small riverside town to bypass the site of an explosive oil train derailment that occurred 90 miles north in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, on [February 16, 2015]. The trains will likely travel instead on a track that hugs the New River and at one point sweeps into the Pembroke town limits.”
The action on the part of CSX is troubling because, apart from emergency services personnel, no one in the town was aware that the trains were being re-routed.
The article further notes that:
“The [West Virginia oil train] accident was the latest in a string of explosive oil train derailments, including one into the James River in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, in April last year. The incidents have prompted calls for stricter transport standards and raised concern for residents near train lines across the country. The worst accident yet, in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013, killed 47 people.”
U.S. Government Officials Expect Many More Oil Train Derailments
Government officials expect more potentially disastrous According to an Associated Press article:
“The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.”
Prudent government officials will fear a catastrophe similar to the one that occurred in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013, and referenced in the Reuters article above. In that accident, which was the largest non-passenger rail disaster in Canadian history:
“Forty-two bodies were found and transported to Montreal to be identified. [T]he bodies of five presumed victims were never found. It is possible that some of the missing people were vaporized by the explosions. A hundred and fifteen businesses were destroyed, displaced, or rendered inaccessible.”
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