Sunday, 11 May 2014

Oil spill near La Salle, Colorado, following train derailment.

Cleanup crews from the Colorado State Patrol and Environmental Protection Agency have been dealing with a 25 000 liter crude oil spill following a train derailment near the South Platte river near the town of La Salle in Weld County, Colorado, at about 9.30 am on Friday 9 May 2014. Six of one hundred oil cars on the train left the tracks, one of which was ruptured and shed part of its load. It is thought that none of the oil reached the river, after a substantial amount of oil was vacuumed up; a large quantity of topsoil will also have to be removed before the decontamination process is complete.

The scene at the Weld County derailment near the South Platte river on Friday 9 May 2014. CBS Denver.

As well as the spilled oil the oil contained in the overturned cars will need to be removed before they can be righted; this is likely to present some technical problems as the trucks are not designed to be emptied while inverted. The train was carrying Niobrara crude from Windsor in north Colorado to New York. The cause of the derailment has yet to be determined.

The approximate location of the 9 May 2014 Weld County derailment. Google Maps.

Trains carrying crude oil have become an increasingly important part of the distribution system in North America as both production of and demand for oil has exceeded the capacity of the pipeline network. There have been a number of incidents involving derailments and oil spills, and concerns about the safety of the trains following an incident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when a 72 car oil train derailed and exploded, killing 47 people.

See also...

Firefighters are battling a major blaze after a train carrying crude oil was derailed by the James River in Lynchburg, Virginia, at about 2 pm local time on Wednesday 30 April 2014. The train was traveling from Chicago to Virginia when the incident occurred, with 12-14 oil cars from the 15 car train leaving the track and about four being...

The city of Casselton, North Dakota, has been evacuated after a train derailment led to a huge oil explosion on Monday 30 December 2013. The incident happened slightly after 2 pm local time (slightly...

A runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, at about 1.00 am local time (4.00 am GMT) on Saturday 6 July 2013, causing a series of massive...

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