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It’s a Crude World: Millions Live Near Volatile Railways

/ Oil Spill, Train Accidents /

It’s a Crude WorldNEW YORK – Oil has become more than just a luxury resource. For millions of Americans, it’s a necessity and the demand for black gold sends millions of gallons of the highly flammable crude oil through cities, towns and backyards across the country.

The preferred mode of transportation from east coast to west is on railways but each year, accidents happen.

On February 16, a train derailed in West Virginia resulting in an explosion and at least seven rail cars caught fire. Due to the volatile crude oil the train was transporting, dozens of nearby homes were forced to evacuate.

“That incident was in Mount Carbon, West Virginia; a town with a population of around 400 people. Imagine if something like this happened on a railway near millions of people like the tracks around New York City,” train accident lawyer Steve Barnes said.

There are thousands of miles of track used by more than a half dozen railroad companies in the business of transporting crude oil. Many of these railways travel through New York metropolitan area.

evac zoneAt the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), federal authorities have mapped out half-mile-wide ‘evacuation zones’ and mile-wide areas that could be affected if another train accident were to occur.

“These crashes not only cost billions of dollars in damage, they can put lives at risk,” Barnes said.

The US DOT recently predicted there will be an average of 10 dangerous derailments every year for the next two decades.

To see an interactive map of crude oil railways, click here.

Deadly Crash the Latest, Not First, of Metro North Disasters

/ Train Accidents /

Deadly Crash the LatestNEW YORK – Hundreds of people are killed in train collisions every year. On Monday, seven more died in a fiery crash in Valhalla when a Metro North train carrying over 400 passengers struck a car stranded on the tracks, authorities said.

The crash is just the latest disaster to happen on Metro North tracks. According to Federal Railroad Administration records, a truck was slammed by a train at the exact same rail crossing in 1984. The 21-year-old driver was killed.

In just the last two years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated how more than 60 people were injured as a result of four different derailments or collisions on Metro North lines.

In 2014, an electrician was hit and killed by a northbound train in Manhattan. Investigators found the crash was caused by miscommunication and poorly understood safety procedures.

In 2013, a track foreman was killed after being hit by a train speeding at 70 miles per hour. determined railroad administrators did not implement safety recommendations that could have prevented that accident.

Later the same year, a deadly derailment killed four people and injured dozens of others in the Bronx. the train was traveling 82 mph around a left-hand curve, and a 30 mph zone. It was later determined that the engineer had fallen asleep and Metro-North did not have a policy requiring medical screening for sleep disorders.

Several of these crashes resulted in lawsuits because safety procedures were not always followed or required by railroad administrators.

According to Operation Lifesaver, rail crashes have been steadily decreasing since the 1980’s because of strict regulations put in place over the last few decades.

“Every three hours in the U.S., a vehicle or a person is hit by a train,” Operation Lifesaver president, Joyce Rose said. “[Tuesday’s crash] highlights the critical need for all drivers to use caution at every highway-rail grade crossing.”

Although the accidents have decreased in the last three decades, trains are still responsible for more than 200 deaths and nearly a thousand injuries every year.

 

NYC Metro North Train Crash Kills 7

/ Personal Injury, Train Accidents /

NYC Metro North Train Crash Kills 7NEW YORK – A Metro North train carrying hundreds of passengers struck a car just north of the train station, according to first responders. The crash resulted in seven deaths and more than a dozen injuries.

Images from MSNBC showed the aftermath of the crash, including a fiery explosion that engulfed the train and the car in Valhalla, N.Y.

More than a dozen investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies will determine what caused the crash.

The gates came down on top of the vehicle, which was stopped on the tracks,” Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement. “The driver got out to look at the rear of the car, then she got back in and drove forward and was struck.”

NYC Metro North Train Crash Kills 7At the scene late Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the scene a “truly ugly and brutal sight.” Cuomo said the maximum speed for the train in the area of the crash was 60 miles per hour but authorities have not officially determined how fast the train was moving.

According to authorities on scene, at least 15 people were hospitalized for mild to severe injuries.

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