A CSX Corp oil train derailed earlier this week in West Virginia and exploded, and featured newer model oil tanker cars, leading to new fears about the dangers of transporting oil by rail in the US.
The oil train was carrying volatile North Dakota crude to the large oil depot in Yorktown, Virginia. The train derailed southeast of Charleston, WV.
The CPC 1232 cars are supposed to be tougher than the old DOT-111 cars that were built until 2011. The old DOT-111 cars have been criticized by federal and state regulators for years. The US and Canadian governments have been under increasing pressure in recent years after several fiery derailments. They continue to work to phase out the old DOT-111 cars.
Still, nine or 10 cars on the CSX train in West Virginia this week exploded in flames after the crash. One of the cars crashed into the Kanawha River. No one was hurt, but the fire did destroy a nearby house.
Our personal injury legal firm has worked with many clients who have been hurt by careless train and railroad companies. We recently won a $650,000 verdict for a former CSX worker who was injured in a minor CSX train accident a few years ago. In that case and in others, we have seen corporations put profits before safety.
It is our fervent hope that regulators will continue to be tough on train and rail companies who hurt people and/or damage the environment. We also hope rules continue to be strengthened to ensure that new oil tanker cars are less likely to rupture during a derailment.