An evacuation of the entire City of Casselton was initiated after
train carrying crude oil derailed near the city Monday setting off a series of explosions. Cass County officials urged residents to evacuate as shifting winds and a high pressure system could blow the thick, toxic smoke down into the city.
Residents were urged to leave the city in an orderly manner. Those who have family and friends elsewhere were encouraged to go there. The Red Cross shelter in Fargo will be available for those whith nowhere to go. Transportation will be arranged from Central Cass High School. In addition, said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, law enforcement will go door to door in the evacuated area, children who are alone and other adults with no way to evacuate will be transported to Central Cass High School to await parents or family.
"This is nothing to play with," said Laney.
According to a BNSF representative, a train carrying grain was the first to derail, and it appeared the train carrying crude oil may have struck a grain car. Between nine and 11 crude oil cars were involved in the fire that continued to burn Monday evening.
Haz-mat teams from Fargo, the Casselton Fire Department and at least 60 personnel from the Cass County Sheriff's Department are on the scene in Casselton and emergency responders from BNSF Railroad are on route to the city.
Updates will appear as they become available.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.