13 tankers turn over in train derailment but spill little oil

8:16 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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MATTAWAMKEAG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- A train that derailed in town early Thursday morning was carrying thousands of gallons of crude oil yet officials say thankfully nearly none of it leaked out of the cars.

'Pan Am Railways' easily transports millions of gallons of crude oil between North Dakota and New Brunswick each year passing through Maine along the way. Thursday morning's shipment was pretty large. According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, each car had about 30,000 gallons of oil onboard.

Officials say thankfully only drops of oil escaped and the Penobscot River, which is just a short walk from the track was never threatened. They also say they could not find any signs of other spills from the crash.

"What I did when I made my entry was to use air monitoring equipment to detect petroleum...hydro carbons in the air," said Andrea Lasselle, who is a hazerdous materials responder with Maine DEP, "so I checked in and all around the rail cars and found no evidence of any leak."

Cleanup crews began their work Thursday afternoon. Officials said to prevent further mishaps, the oil would be pumped out of the cars first before they are placed back on the track. They expect the project to take several days to complete.


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