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Sen. Heitkamp seeks information on derailment history at eastern N.D. location

CASSELTON, N.D. -- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is asking federal regulators for more information on the history of train derailments near Casselton, where a derailment caused a fiery explosion last week.

In a statement, Heitkamp said she asked the Federal Railroad Administration how often it had inspected the stretch of tracks just west of Casselton, and whether any special attention will be given to that area.

Over the last decade, three derailments, including the fiery crash Dec. 30, occurred in nearly the same spot, according to accident data from the FRA. A fourth happened two miles away.

“It is important for me and the people of North Dakota to understand what actions were taken before the derailment, and to determine the current quality of the rails in this area in particular,” Heitkamp said in the statement.

Heitkamp also requested a review of the track quality in the area to see whether any upgrades or changes in operating speed are necessary.

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