Almost 3000 Canadian railroad tank cars have been pulled from the line after they did not meet the new safety regulations that were passed after the disastrous train derailment in Quebec in 2013 that killed 47 people.
According to Canada’s Transport Department, 2879 tank cars were determined to be too risky to carry oil and chemicals. In late April, the Canadian government gave railroad companies one month to stop using the weakest DOT-111 tank cars to transport oil and chemicals. DOT-111’s that are still carrying dangerous chemicals must be refitted with thicker steel plates within 36 months, or be pulled from service.
DOT-111 rail cars were carrying crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota in July 2013 when the train derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The fire and explosion devastated that small town.
The government stated in April that about 5000 higher risk DOT-111s which do not have reinforcements on the bottom are still running in North America.
The US government plans to phase out the older DOT-111s within the next two years.
Our train crash personal injury legal firm has handled a number of train crashes and derailments, and usually they are caused by poor safety regulations. In one case, we settled a suit for $60 million for a brain injured client who was severely injured when a derailed train smashed into his gas station. We hope that both the Canadian and US governments will continue to tighten regulations for oil trains to better ensure public safety.