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US government: industry hampering oil train safety

Oil train fire and explosion 12/30/13 near Casselton North Dakota.  Photo: KFGO-AM
National Transporation and Safety Board (NTSB) member Robert Sumwalt (R) views damaged rail cars at the scene of the BNSF train accident in
Oil train fire and explosion 12/30/13 near Casselton North Dakota. Photo: KFGO-AM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - U.S. transportation officials say the oil industry is not giving up information needed to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail.

Several oil train accidents, including one that killed 47 people in Quebec, have highlighted the explosive properties of crude coming from booming oil shale fields on the Northern Plains.

Department of Transportation officials told The Associated Press on Friday that a lack of cooperation from the industry is slowing progress toward improved safety.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in January asked companies to provide information on the volatility and other characteristics of crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

Representatives from the American Petroleum Institute refuted the foot-dragging accusation. They say individual companies have provided some data and there's more to come.

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