Outrage is building among residents whose lives are put at risk by the mile-long oil and gas trains coming from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota, Montana and Canada, in the aftermath of the oil train derailment yesterday in Philadelphia. The derailment occurred in a densely populated neighborhood, over a major highway, near several large universities,
Children’s Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania medical complex. Rapid evacuation of a five-mile radius from any future oil train explosion and fire in the Philadelphia area, or any urban area, would be impossible. When a similar train exploded and burned on December 30th, 2013 in Casselton, North Dakota, evacuation was urged for a five-mile radius to avoid damaging inhalation of toxic smoke.
Today Protecting Our Waters, Clean Air Council, Philadelphia Interfaith Power and Light, the Catskill Mountainkeeper, and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy join together in calling for a halt to the dangerous trains carrying fracked oil and gas.
“This derailment, just blocks from my Philadelphia home of 24 years, is truly terrifying because all five of the other recent derailments of this type of shale oil and gas train have erupted into fireballs, including the one that incinerated fifteen acres of downtown Lac-Megantic and killed 47 people in that small town,” said Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters, a Philadelphia-based grassroots nonprofit.