ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A new federal order designed to make America’s rails safer for oil shipments is not tough enough according to the St. Louis City fire chief. Railroad company tracks snake their way through the St. Louis region. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says a new type of crude coming out of the ground in the Dakotas is dangerous and the type of train cars used to transport the oil could make the situation worse. Chief Jenkerson had this comment about the sweet crude, “It’s a lot more volatile.”
One of the most recent train fires happened in Virginia. A fire and explosion in a small Canadian town in July of last year killed 47 people and destroyed 50 buildings. Jenkerson fears the same could happen in St. Louis. He said, “The worst case scenario would be a derailment and an explosion.”
St. Louisans don’t like the crude passing so close to their neighborhoods. Joel Murphy said, “I think it’s terrible cause you’re putting people in danger anytime you put your citizens in danger it’s a bad thing.” Natalie Floeh said, “It’s really a shame to hear something like that is going on.”
The new federal order says railroads need to notify local officials if a big train carrying the crude will pass through a state, that the company should use newer tank cars. It’s believed the older cars are not built for the crude. Also the feds ruled the train should not have more than 100 tanker cars at one time. Jenkerson believes the feds need even stricter regulations.
The chief said his crews will be train for such a train mishap next week. Jenkerson has been meeting with railroad officials and asked them to station extra firefighting equipment in the region because Jenkerson said there are not enough foam trucks in the area. He added that the railroads seem to be receptive.