Why Is Transporting Oil So Dangerous?

Transporting oil by rail has come under scrutiny after the recent explosions in Virginia and Ontario In 2013 alone, over 1 million gallons of oil were spilled from rail accidents in the US, that’s more that the previous four decades, combined

Critics are concerned that explosions will become more frequent So how dangerous are oil trains? Let’s take a closer look at some of the most recent incidents to find out In July 2013, a freight train carrying 15 million gallons of oil derails in a town in Quebec An explosive fire destroys half the downtown area and leaves 47 dead

In November of the same year, a train carrying 27 million gallons of crude oil, derails and explodes in Western Alabama Oil spills into surrounding wetlands causing irreparable damage to the fragile habitat Just a month later, a train carrying soybeans collides with an oil train in Casselton, North Dakota A chain of large explosions and a huge plume of poisonous smoke prompts the evacuation of thousands of people

In April 2014, an oil train travelling at low speed, derails in Southern Virginia Despite the tanks puncture-proof design, the incident causes a massive fireball and spills oil into the James River On February 14th, 2015 an oil train derails and catches fire in a town in South-Eastern, Ontario Reports say that both the train and the rails had just recently passed safety inspections Less than 48 hours later, a train carrying 3 million gallons of crude oil derails in Mount Carbon, West Virginia

Oil spills into the Kanawha river, poisoning the local water supply 19 tanks cause a series of explosions, sending a plume of toxic smoke that threatens the safety of local residents The incidents reignite support for the Keystone XL pipeline as a safer alternative to rail transport However, environmental advocacy groups note that neither option offers a safe transport solution and both pose a threat to adjacent communities Oil companies have been taking huge risks in the Arctic as well

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