UPDATE 2-Train hauling Canadian oil derails in Minnesota

Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:04pm EDT
 
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By David Sheppard and Jeffrey Jones

NEW YORK/CALGARY March 27 (Reuters) - A mile-long train hauling oil from Canada derailed and leaked 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota on Wednesday, as debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting tar sands across the border.

The leak - the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom - came when 14 cars on a 94-car Canadian Pacific train left the tracks about 150 miles north west of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie, the Otter Tail Sheriff's Department said.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, the country's second-largest railroad, said the company was investigating the incident. CP Spokesman Ed Greenberg said only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured, adding it was a mixed freight train carrying crude and other materials.

The company did not comment as to what kind of crude the train was carrying.

But Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson said up to three tank cars were ruptured and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons - or 475 to 715 barrels - leaked out.

Cold weather had also made the crude thicker, hindering the ability to recover the oil, Olson said, adding the initial cleanup was expected to continue for a day or two.

"We are focusing on drawing up the loose (oil) ... and once that has been taken up, they will then pump up the remaining oil in the tanks," Olson said. "Because of the winter conditions, the ground is frozen and there is not any damage to surface water or ground water."   Continued...