News Update!!: Casselton, ND: Evacuations happening after fiery explosions from train derailment.
The community of Casselton, North Dakota is being evacuated after a train carrying crude oil derailed at around 2:00pm CT on Monday near Casselton, North Dakota setting off a series of fiery explosions.
According to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department Office, the evacuation of Casselton, North Dakota is occurring in an orderly, calm fashion.
A rough estimate from the field is that approximately 65% of residents have evacuated the area.
If children are located by emergency responders they will be brought to Central Cass High School for reunification with a guardian.
If transportation is needed from your home, contact the Cass County Tactical Operations Center at: 1 (701) 297-6000.
Those evacuated should go to a safe location until further notice. If evacuees need a place to go, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army have organized a shelter at the Discovery Middle School located at 1717 40th Ave South in Fargo, North Dakota.
Anyone coming to the shelter should enter through west gymnasium doors. Officials are currently going door-to-door to make sure that any disabled or elderly individuals that need extra assistance to evacuate are receiving the necessary help.
The American Red Cross is preparing to take in 100 people at the shelter, but have the capacity to hold up to 500. The shelter will be equipped with cots, food, and other necessary items for families displaced.
A Red Cross disaster mental health professional is also being deployed to the shelter to provide emotional support.
Work crews from Burlington Northern Santa Fe are conducting air monitoring to determine the level of contamination and when people can safely return to their homes.
Information from the National Weather Service indicates a shift in the weather resulting in a high pressure system that will push the plume of smoke down increasing the risk of potential health hazards.
Those in the areas south and east of Casselton, North Dakota are also encouraged to consider evacuating, specifically Durbin Township and Everest Township east of North Dakota State Highway 18.
According to the Cass Sheriff’s Office, a 104 car Burlington Northern Santa Fe Train collided with another train while traveling eastbound approximately one mile west of Casselton, North Dakota.
How the collision occurred is unknown at this time.
At this moment, there is no reports of injuries.
This evacuation is precautionary and in anticipation of potential changes in wind direction.
Those within the evacuation zone are not currently in immediate danger, but the potential exists if the wind changes direction.
According to Cass County Emergency Manager Dave Rogness, 2,400 residents were told to stay indoors as a precaution and that crews were calling for truckloads of sand to help contain leaking material. He says the derailment occurred near the city’s ethanol plant.
According to Director of the Health Department’s Environmental Health Section Dave Glatt, North Dakota’s Health Officials are in Casselton, North Dakota and plan to check for health hazards once the fires are out.
More information is still coming into ZachNews.