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Calls for increased regulation follow latest oil-train crash

By Kyle Johnson,

Calls for more regulation for oil-trains increased following Wednesday's CSX Corp train derailment in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Experts believe that more regulation is needed as more and more crude oil is transported via train from the Bakken oil fields and wrecks keep happening, reports The Associated Press. Crude from this U.S. and Canadian oil field is known to more easily ignite.

Not including Wednesday's crash, there have been eight wrecks over the past year between the United States and Canada. While the Lynchburg derailment didn't cause any injuries, the National Transportation Safety Board says the other wrecks haven't been so lucky, resulting in numerous deaths.

"Everybody is waiting on them and expecting some significant action," Grady Cohen, a former Federal Railroad Administration official said, referring to the Transportation Department. "It's a front-and-center concern on the part of everybody in rail transportation."

The Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, says that regulators are doing their best to quickly create tighter regulations, but for the moment, they are understaffed when it comes to inspecting shipments. "We have a million shipments of hazardous materials moving around this country every day and we have 50 inspectors."

As previously reported, 15 cars on the CSX oil-train derailed and three trains caught fire and spilled oil into the James River. No one was hurt in the accident and about 350 people in the downtown area of Lynchburg were temporarily evacuated.

The accident is still under investigation, but it appears speeding likely can be ruled out because the AP notes NTSB investigator Jim Southworth said the train's speed was 24 miles per hour, which is 1 under the speed limit in the area.

 
 

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