Oil Trains: "Ticking time bombs," says Schumer

Posted at 9:21 PM, Sep 09, 2015

The issue of oil train safety continues to be major concern for local emergency planners, who held a special forum on the topic in Cheektowaga.

Officials from CSX Railroad and the Erie County HAZ-MAT Team both gave presentations.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer tells 7 Eyewitness News he is continuing his fight to get older oil tank cars off the tracks in two years time because they are "ticking time bombs." Right now, the federal government requires older oil tank cars to be phased out of service in six years. However, Schumer says he is confident that the time can be reduced.

In the City of Dunkirk, oil trains pass right through the city center and travel within feet of several homes. Nervous residents fear a derailment or explosion could trigger a catastrophe.

City officials realize the danger and have worked closely with Chautauqua County to develop an emergency disaster plan that includes evacuations.

Because oil train fires are so intense, firefighters from the city's fire department will be taking new crude oil fire training in the next few weeks.

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