A train that was hauling millions of pounds of oil from North Dakota to Virginia derailed on Monday, resulting in evacuations and oil leaking into a nearby river.
Initial reports indicate that 12 or 13 cars derailed when a CSX train crashed just outside of Boomer in West Virginia. The train was in route from North Dakota to a shipping terminal in Virginia at the time of the crash. Residents of the nearby villages were evacuated as a precaution, and oil continues to leak into the Kanawha River. There was only one reported injury.
Water officials from cities that use water from the Kanawha River are still unsure if the spill was big enough to negatively impact the water supply. So far, one water treatment intake has been closed in hopes of containing the oil-contaminated water.
The occurrence of train accidents seems to have increased proportionate to the increase in oil production. Rail transport seems to barely be keeping up with fracking booms in states like North Dakota. About five years ago, there were only about 10,000 trains that carried oil across the U.S. annually. Today, there are more than 430,000 per year.
To curb the growing number of rail accidents, the Association of American Railroads issued new, more stringent requirements for oil-carrying train cars. Unfortunately, this only applied to cars manufactured from 2011 on. Train companies were not required to retrofit cars manufactured pre-2011 to meet these new requirements.
A slew of investigative agencies are on the scene, including CSX's investigators and both state and federal teams, in hopes of uncovering the cause of the accident and scope of the impact on the environment.
Wherever oil is, serious hazards usually follow - or at least the risk of them. Wyatt Law Firm, Ltd. is based in Texas, so our attorneys are no stranger to these types of incidents. We represent people who have been injured at or near oilfields, in fracking accidents, and at the workplace. If you or someone you love was injured in an oil-related incident, contact the San Antonio injury lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your case.