On Monday December 30, 2013, the residents of a small North Dakota town called Casselton were forced from their homes following a fiery train accident. The accident, which happened around 2:30 pm, involved a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying crude oil. According to reports, the train derailed causing multiple cars to catch fire and explode.
Casselton, a town of about 2,400 residents, underwent a precautionary evacuation that lasted into Tuesday, December 31, 2013. Complicating matters were temperatures below zero which certainly made it difficult for the residents of Casselton. Residents of Casselton reported that the explosions from the accident shook their homes and businesses for hours.
The derailment happened even as concerns are growing over the safety of shipping significant quantities of crude oil by rail. Fortunately, in this accident there were not the same catastrophic effects of a similar accident in Ontario this past summer. In the Ontario accident, forty-seven people died following the derailment of a train carrying crude oil.