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North Dakota train wreck ignites oil cars

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(Photo credit: Kyle Johnson via Twitter)

CASSELTON, N.D. — A wreck involving two trains, one of which was carrying oil, sparked a large fire that sent huge flames and dangerous smoke into the sky, North Dakota authorities said.

There were no reports of injuries from the accident, said Sgt. Tara Morris with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, but “with the oil on fire there are hazardous conditions, and we are directing all people in the area to shelter in-place and stay indoors.”

The incident occurred near Casselton, a town of 2,300 residents about 25 miles west of Fargo. Huge plumes of smoke could be seen for miles, according to CNN affiliate KVLY.

There is a Code Red alert for people who are within a 2-mile radius of the fire, the station said.

KVLY reported that the wind was out of the northwest, so the smoke may miss Casselton.

Morris said it was unclear how the accident happened and authorities are trying to determine whether one of the trains derailed before they collided.

About 10 of the cars on the train carrying oil were fully engulfed in flames. At least a dozen firefighters are involved, she said.

An official with the Federal Railroad Administration said it will support a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the accident.

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