Montana train derailment spilled 35,000 gallons of crude oil
A train derailment in rural eastern Montana spilled 35,000 gallons (132,489 liters) of crude oil and forced the evacuation of about 30 people, a U.S. official said on Friday in an email to state officials.
About 20 cars on the Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF [BNISF.UL] crude oil train went off the rails east of Culbertson, Montana, on Thursday evening, officials said. There was no fire and no injuries were reported.
A hazardous materials team from BNSF responded to the scene and contained the spilled oil with earthen dams, Michael Turnbull, an official with the U.S. Department of Transportation, said in an email to Montana officials that was released to the media.
The spilled crude did not reach any waterways, the email said.
Culbertson authorities temporarily evacuated about 30 people from an area a half-mile around the accident site, Turnbull’s email said.
The spilled crude came from three breached tank cars on the train, which in total had 106 loaded tank cars along with two buffer cars and two locomotives, according to Turnbull.
An investigation into the cause of the derailment is under way, Turnbull’s email said. The segment of railroad where the accident occurred is expected to re-open for travel at midnight on Friday, he said.
A BNSF spokesman did not immediately return calls on Friday.
In 2013, the derailment of an oil train at Lac-Mégantic, in the Canadian province of Quebec, killed 47 people in an explosion that flattened the center of the town.