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Feds issue emergency order on crude oil trains

Washington (AP) -- The Transportation Department issued an emergency order requiring railroads to inform state emergency management officials before moving large shipments of crude oil through their states.

The department also urged railroads to use the most protective type of rail tank cars to ship the oil and to avoid, when possible, using older model DOT-111 tanks cars. Those are easily punctured or ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds.

The emergency order followed a warning two weeks ago from outgoing National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman that the department risks a "higher body count" as the result of fiery oil train accidents if it waits for new safety regulations to become final.

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Washington Times