A series of recent derailments have raised concerns about the risks of shipping oil in mile-long "unit trains," especially highly combustible light crude from the Bakken shale formation in and around North Dakota.
Here are some recent accidents involving shipments of Bakken crude:
*On April 30 in Lynchburg, Va., at least 13 of 105 tank cars on a CSX Corp. oil train derailed near a downtown area at 24 mph. Flames shot 100 feet high, three cars fell into the James River and hundreds of people were evacuated. No one was injured.
*On Dec. 30 near Casselton, N.D., a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying more than 100 tanker cars collided with a derailed car at 42 mph, igniting an intense fire that prompted the evacuation of some 2,000 residents. More than 400,000 gallons of crude were spilled, but no one was injured.
*On Nov. 8 near Aliceville, Ala., more than two dozen tanker cars on a 90-car train operated by Genesee & Wyoming Inc., owner of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad, derailed at less than 40 mph, spilling tens of thousands of gallons of oil. Flames soared hundreds of feet above the rural area but no injuries were reported.
*On July 6 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, a 74-car runaway train operated by Canadian Pacific Railway and traveling at an estimated 63 mph derailed in the early morning, causing an explosion and fire that killed 47 people and destroyed more than 30 buildings.
-- Source: News reports