Oregon officials want temporary halt on oil trains in Columbia River Gorge

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A June 3 oil train derailment and explosion in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge sent 16 cars off the tracks. Four cars caught fire, sending 42,000 gallons of crude into the ground and the air. (KPTV)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon transportation officials are asking federal rail authorities to suspend crude oil trains in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River Gorge until there is a better understanding of what caused a fiery derailment there this month.

State Department of Transportation officials presented their concerns Thursday at a meeting in Hood River and made public a letter to the Federal Rail Administration asking for the moratorium on oil-only trains in Oregon. The letter expresses concern about lag bolts, a type of fastener used on a curved section of track to attach the rail to the rail tie.

Union Pacific has said a failure of the bolts caused the June 3 derailment.

More than 12 of the 96 oil cars derailed, sparking a fire and forcing evacuations. No one was injured.

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