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NTSB: Oil Train Safety Measures Needed
01/23/2014 03:44 PM ET  

The recommendations include better planning for routing hazardous materials by train, and efforts to ensure that hazardous cargo is properly classified.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal accident investigators are warning that a ``major loss of life'' could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil. They recommend a series of safety measures.

The National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual step of issuing its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Last month an oil train derailed and exploded near Casselton, N.D. In July, a runaway oil train derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Forty-seven people were incinerated and 30 buildings destroyed.

The recommendations include planning routes for hazardous materials trains to avoid populated and other sensitive areas. Also recommended are stronger efforts to ensure hazardous cargo is properly classified before shipment.

All four members of Maine's congressional delegation say they welcome the recommendations. "We're very pleased with the fact that both the United States and Canada are on the same track moving forward with recommendations on how to have better safety in rail," says Maine 2nd District Rep. Mike Michaud.

Mal Leary contributed reporting to this story.



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