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Report: Key changes needed to prevent fiery rail crashes

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October 11, 2017 | AP News | WASHINGTON (AP) — A prestigious scientific organization on Wednesday called for more frequent and better inspections of freight railroad tracks to prevent potentially catastrophic oil and ethanol train crashes.

A report by the National Academies of Sciences also urged better training for emergency workers and questioned the validity of recent train speed regulation.

From 2005 to 2015, there were 21 derailments or collisions in the U.S. of trains hauling crude oil, resulting in the release of 1.6 million gallons (6 million liters). There were 58 ethanol train crashes over the same period, resulting in the release of 2.6 million gallons (9.8 million liters). The trains are often more than 100 cars long, and spilled oil or ethanol from ruptured tank cars has ignited and created giant fireballs that can last for days.

[Read the entire article here.]

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