Documents Reveal Path Of Potentially Explosive Trains Through Oklahoma

Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 12:20 am
By: News On 6

Following a series of 6 Investigates special reports, the State of Oklahoma releases important information about trains moving through Green Country, carrying a potentially explosive type of oil.

The feds ordered the railroads to release the information weeks ago so communities could prepare for possible derailments, but as I first reported, Oklahoma regulators signed confidentiality agreements, agreeing to keep details out of the public eye.

Monday, those regulators are releasing not all, but some, of those details.

After a series of explosive train derailments, the worst of which leveled 30 buildings and killed 47 people in Canada, federal regulators ordered the railroads to alert states where similar trains travel. Any train carrying at least 1-million gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil must be reported.

7/10/2014 Related Story: State Keeps Crude Oil Shipment Information From Public

The hope is the information will help communities, like Tulsa, prepare for a worst case scenario.

"Our communities aren't prepared to respond to this," said Deborah Hersman, former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Information released Monday shows those potentially explosive trains travel through 20 counties in our state - many of them in northeastern Oklahoma. It says Tulsa County sees four trains a week, Craig County up to seven.

But these are just the trains carrying at least a million gallons of Bakken crude oi - at least 33 tankers long.

Trains that carry less are not tracked or reported to the state.

The Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission released the information Monday afternoon, saying this is all they got from the railroads. It does not contain any specific information concerning passage or arrival dates, times or specific locations.

Officials say they've passed this information along to first responders.