Train derailment spills 35,000 gallons of oil in Montana

Officials said 35,000 gallons of oil leaked from a derailed train in Montana on Thursday night, The Associated Press reports

A train carrying crude oil from North Dakota derailed in Montana’s Roosevelt County and oil leaked from three of the 20 cars that fell from the track. The train consisted of 106 tank cars, each of which can haul of up to 30,000 gallons each.


No one was injured, according to the Department of Transportation, but about 30 people were evacuated from homes within a half-mile radius of the derailment. The train, operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, was bound for Washington State.  

Unlike other oil train accidents, including a 2013 incident in Quebec that kill 47 people, the train and its spilled oil did not catch fire. Local law enforcement said that was “lucky,” considering the derailment knocked over a power line. 

Thursday’s spill is just the latest accident involving oil trains around the United States and Canada. A train carrying crude oil slipped off the tracks and caught fire in Tennessee earlier this month, an incident that followed derailments in North Dakota, Ontario, Illinois and West Virginia so far this year, according to CNBC

The Obama administration introduced new regulations for oil trains in May. The rules look to phase out or retrofit old railcars carrying ethanol or crude oil within the next seven years and mandate new routing and speed standards for oil trains.

The rules aren’t strong enough for some environmental and safety groups, which launched a series of protests against oil trains earlier this month.