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NTSB investigators arrive in Casselton to look into train derailments and fire

NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt
NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt

CASSELTON (KFGO-AM) --Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived in Casselton to gather factual information on the crash of two BNSF trains.

A westbound grain train derailed a mile west of Casselton, and hit an eastbound train hauling oil on an adjacent track, causing it to derail Monday afternoon. Twenty tankers caught fire setting off explosions and sending fireballs 200 feet into the air.

NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt says federal investigators expect to be in Casselton for about five to seven days looking at the condition of the tracks and trains. They'll get information from the trains recorders and signal system and interview crew members.

Preliminary findings could be available within ten days, but Sumwalt says the entire investigation could take a year to a year-and-a-half.