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Casselton mayor questions shipping oil by train

Flames rise from a train derailment in Casselton, North Dakota on December 30th, 2013 Northeast of the explosion on highway 10.
Flames rise from a train derailment in Casselton, North Dakota on December 30th, 2013 Northeast of the explosion on highway 10.

CASSELTON, N.D. (AP) - Casselton Mayor Ed McConnell says it's time to "have a conversation'' with federal lawmakers about the safety of shipping crude oil by train.

A train carrying oil derailed Monday about a mile from the southeastern North Dakota town, prompting the evacuation of about two-thirds of the town's 2,400 residents.

No one was hurt, but McConnell says at least 100 people could have been killed if the wreck had happened in town. He says Casselton "dodged a bullet,'' and that it was ''too close for comfort.''

Fears of catastrophic derailments have been stoked after a train carrying crude from North Dakota's Bakken oil patch crashed in Quebec last summer. Forty-seven people died in the ensuing fire.

McConnell says he thinks shipping oil by pipeline has to be a safer option.

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