A worker at a North Las Vegas business died in a railroad tank car early Saturday, the North Las Vegas Fire Department said.

Witnesses told fire crews that their co-worker had lost consciousness inside the empty tank car and was unable to climb out. Firefighters discovered that the tank car contained highly volatile ethanol vapors and appeared to be unsafe, said Capt. Cedric Williams, a spokesman for the department.

Read the complete story at the Las Vegas Sun.

CN_red_logoEDMONTON, Alberta – A Canadian National Railway train carrying liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil has derailed and exploded about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton, prompting an evacuation in the tiny community of Gainford.

Parkland County Emergency Services says it received a call about the accident involving a westbound train around 1 a.m. MT Saturday.

Read the complete story at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

BISMARCK — As oil industry representatives met here Tuesday to discuss the ever changing industry, one thing was clear, there will be new regulations over shipping crude oil by train.

After the July derailment in Canada of a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota, the crude-by-rail safety inspections by the Obama administration, dubbed the “Bakken blitz,” has many in the industry anxious about new federal regulations.

Read the complete story at The Grand Forks Herald.


UPDATE: Fire officials said at 10:30 p.m., Pacific time, Wednesday, Aug. 24, that the effort to siphon the remaining propane from the burning tank car has been successful and that the evacuation order should be rescinded before dawn Aug. 25.

LINCOLN, Calif. – A tank car filled with 29,000 pounds of liquid propane was on fire Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 24, in a propane company facility here and thousands of nearby residents have been evacuated in this Sacramento suburb out of fear of an explosion.

Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt is quoted by MSNBC that a buildup of heat could lead to an explosion compared to a “small thermal nuclear bomb” that produces a fireball several hundred yards wide and which could expel metal shrapnel for a mile.

Firefighters reportedly were aiming four fire hoses on the tank car to keep the heat from building.

An additional 170,000 pounds of liquid propane stored in the yard is reported to be at risk of catching fire, and a natural gas pipeline runs nearby.

The Associated Press reports 4,800 homes are in the mandatory evacuation area and firefighters were attempting to siphon propane from the tank car in what was described as a “bold maneuver.” A national response team from Houston, Texas, was flown to the site to assist firefighters.

Local news reports say the blaze, in the yard of Northern Propane Energy, could continue for 21 days if the remaining propane is not siphoned from the tank car or if the blaze cannot be extinguished. Local schools have been closed until Monday.

MSNBC reports a similar propane tank car fire and explosion in Kingman, Ariz., in 1973 killed 11 firefighters and a gas company worker.

KCRA television reports Lincoln, a town of 40,000, has been turned into “a ghost town with empty streets and no signs of life.”

MSNBC reports that the effort to siphon the propane involves cutting the outer layer of the tanker and welding a pipe to the side, with stem then pushed inside to force out propane into a freshly dug basin.

Retired UTU General Secretary & Treasurer Dan Johnson lives about 1.5 miles from the fire and about 1/2 mile outside the evacuation zone. Johnson said he and his wife, Jan, are not affected by the fire and that they were following events via local televsion news reporting.