BREAKING NEWS: Oil train carrying Canadian crude derails in Pennsylvania

Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Pennsylvania February 13, 2014
Canadian heavy crude train spill in western Pennsylvania - February 13, 2014

Yet another crude-oil train derailed today -- this time crashing in western Pennsylvania, only one kilometre from dozens of small town homes.

"We do have a lot of homes in close proximity.  It could've been very tragic," said Dan Stevens, a local public safety spokesman on Thursday.

"If it would've happened in a borough, we could've had a totally different situation."

A 120-car Norfolk Southern train carrying heavy Canadian crude oil derailed this morning near the town of Vandergrift, company officials confirmed Thursday.

A total of 21 train cars came off the track, including 19 crude oil cars, and two propane cars, a Pennsylvania municipal official told the Vancouver Observer.

Four cars leaked 11,000 - 15,000 litres of Canadian crude oil, according to Norfolk Southern.

There are no injuries reported.  The train also crashed into a local metals processing building, near the Kiskiminetas River.

Train officials declined to say where in Canada the oil originated.

“I just can’t release all the information about origins, destinations and customers,” said Susan Terpay with Norfolk Southern.

Canadian crude oil train car slams into metals building in Pennsylvania

The oil-by-trail derailment is just the latest in a string of accidents in North America in the last year.

Most dramatically, a train carrying Bakken oil from North Dakota last July exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 victims.

Closer to home, on Jan.11, seven cars of a 152-car coal train moving along CN Rail tracks through Burnaby derailed.

Oil by train is increasing in popularity, as oil companies struggle to get their product out of Alberta, with existing major pipelines.

Kinder Morgan's CEO Rich Kinder told analysts recently: 

“We’re primarily a pipeline company of course… but there are reasons why pipelines don’t satisfy everybody’s needs.  An outgrowth of that is obviously crude by rail," said Kinder, from Houston, Texas. 

Kinder Morgan and Imperial Oil are now building a crude-oil rail terminal in Edmonton, to load trains with up to 250,000 barrels per day.

Northfolk Southern train car derailed - 19 crude oil cars came off the track

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