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US issues emergency order on crude oil trains
US gov't issues emergency order requiring states be informed of oil train shipments
By JOAN LOWY
Associated Press
2014-05-08 03:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Transportation Department is issuing an emergency order requiring that railroads inform state emergency management officials before moving large shipments of crude oil through their states.

The department also is urging railroads to use the most protective type of rail tank cars to ship the oil and to avoid, when possible, using older model tanks cars. Those are easily punctured or ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds.

The emergency order follows a warning two weeks ago from outgoing National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman that the department risks a "higher body count" as the result of fiery oil train accidents if it waits for new safety regulations to become final.

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