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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770410000PublicSource is an independent, nonprofit news group that focuses on original investigative reporting about critical issues facing Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region. It was launched to undertake in-depth reporting in the public interest.PublicSource is a content partner of 90.5 WESA.More about PublicSource here.

1.5 Million at Risk in PA for Crude Oil Derailment

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Photo by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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In Pennsylvania, nearly 1.5 million people are in potential danger if a train carrying crude oil derails and catches fire, according to a PublicSource analysis. That is about one in every nine Pennsylvanians.

The analysis also found 327 K-12 schools, 37 hospitals and 61 nursing homes in the state are at risk.

These numbers take on new meaning in the wake of the recent calamitous derailment near Mount Carbon, W. Va. And, a federal report predicts 15 trains carrying crude oil and ethanol in the United States could derail in 2015 alone.

On Feb. 16, the nation watched as blazing orange clouds of fire shot out of crushed tank cars in West Virginia from a derailed CSX train carrying Bakken crude oil. Fires burned for days, drinking water was affected, a house was leveled and hundreds were evacuated from their homes.

The scene had many Pennsylvanians wondering: Will it happen here next?

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