Two Trains Derail Near Casselton, ND

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Cleanup is going on around the clock near Casselton, ND after more than 30 train cars derailed there Thursday evening.

Emergency crews cleared the scene around 12:30 Friday morning.

No injuries were reported in the incident but local officials are demanding answers about how this could happen for the second time in less than a year.

The Valley Today's Kristi Larson says BNSF officials are on the scene Friday morning starting their investigation into what happened.

BNSF officials tell Valley News Live they are fully cooperating with local authorities. They expect to have one of the lines open by 8:00 p.m. Friday and the second line open by Saturday morning.


When the word first broke about another train derailment near Casselton, North Dakota Thursday evening, many thought of December 2013 derailment popped into many minds. This time around much better news; no explosions and no fireballs.

Crews are cleaning up Thursday just west of Casselton, where cars from 2 BNSF trains derailed. BNSF has begun investigating what happened.

Here is what we know:

An Eastbound train carrying lumber and paper products collided with a West bound train hauling empty oil tankers. Cass County Sheriff's Office is reporting about 31 cars from both trains derailed. It happened just after 5:30 p.m. West of Casselton, near the Tharaldson Ethanol Plant.

Propane tanks on railroad property were sandwiched by the derailments. Early reports indicated that one might be leaking. Valley News Live has had a reporter on the scene since 6 p.m.

Dozens of firefighters, two ambulance services and dozens of sheriff's deputies responded to the derailment all expecting flames and explosions.

"I was hoping this wasn't a anniversary deal like last year, but fortunately this one turned out better than last year. We're always thinking about it though," said Casselton Fire Chief Tim McLean.

It did turn out better this time; there were no injuries and only mangled steel. First responders said they were ready.

"Yes we have been training. We have always kind of trained for it. This last year, we have been training more heavily into it. So we knew the situation, who to call, what to do, how to react and how to go up and get the information," said McLean.

According the Cass County Sheriff's Department, they say their response was effective and efficient to Thursday's derailment. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney just briefed the mayor of Casselton, a short time ago. The perimeter that is set up around the derailment site, should be lifted around midnight allowing traffic to flow around the site.

We will have more updates on the Valley Today Friday morning from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Two trains have derailed near Casselton, North Dakota. The calls to the Red River Regional Dispatch Center started coming in just after 5:30 p.m. The Cass County Sheriff's Office Deputies, Casselton Fire and Ambulance were dispatched.

A Casselton firefighter confirms with Valley News Live they are responding to 3549 153rd Avenue SE in Casselton, which is right next to the Tharaldson Ethanol Plant. County Road 23 is blocked by train cars.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office says they believe the two trains involved are BNSF and both were traveling at very low speeds. The train going eastbound was hauling lumber and the train going west had empty oil tankers. Approximately 25 cars were derailed between the two trains.

No injuries or fire have been reported as of 6:30 p.m. Propane tanks on BNSF property were hit during the derailment, but do not appear to be compromised.