ENVIRONMENT

Canada's Transportation Safety Board To Recommend Sturdier Tank Cars For Crude Oil

In this Aug. 8, 2012 photo, a DOT-111 rail tanker passes through Council Bluffs, Iowa. For two decades, DOT-111 rail tankers,
In this Aug. 8, 2012 photo, a DOT-111 rail tanker passes through Council Bluffs, Iowa. For two decades, DOT-111 rail tankers, workhorses of the American rail fleet, have been allowed to haul hazardous liquids from coast to coast even though transportation officials were aware of a dangerous design flaw that almost guarantees the car will tear open in an accident. The rail and chemical industries have committed to a safer design for new tankers, but they do not want to modify tens of thousands of existing cars. That?s despite a spike in the number of accidents. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

OTTAWA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will recommend sturdier tank cars for carrying crude oil by rail, after examining the July 6 derailment at Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, the Globe and Mail said on Thursday.

The oil that exploded in that disaster was carried in DOT-111 cars. Since 2011, new DOT-111 cars have been built to safer standards, but tens of thousands of older ones remain in service. The U.S. and Canadian governments are considering whether to force shippers to retrofit them or phase them out.

The federal safety agency, which does not have the power to impose regulations, will be making recommendations at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) stemming from Lac-Megantic.

The newspaper said the board would also recommend that railways analyze the risks associated with using specific rail routes to move flammable and combustible crude, with the possibility of selecting safer routes outside some cities.

The Lac-Megantic disaster involved the more flammable Bakken oil from North Dakota.

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