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911 Recordings Released From North Dakota Train Derailment

Created: 01/09/2014 10:49 PM WDIO.com
By: WDAY

We now have access to those 911 calls made after last week's fiery train derailment and collision in Casselton, North Dakota.

A crew member, who reported the accident, told dispatchers the train was hauling ethanol - not crude oil.

Several people called in to report the fire and massive cloud of black smoke resulting from the collision, including crew members and residents of nearby Casselton.

There was some confusion, some reporting what they thought might be a house fire.

In one call, a BNSF employee not involved in the collision reported the engineers were still trying to get off the train. One crew member on board told dispatchers the cars were filled with ethanol. After the accident, investigators on scene discovered the train was hauling crude oil from the Bakken.

Dispatcher: "What do you have on board?"

Crew member: "Ethanol. Loaded and empty. We're walking away, it looks like there is two trains. We're actually trying to figure it out yet." "It's a loaded ethanol and empty ethanol train."

Dispatcher: "It's on fire?"

BNSF Employee: "It's on fire and there is engineers trying to get out of the train right now. There are probably three guys in the train, I heard them on the radio. They were trying to get out. I don't know if they're in it or not."

Some of the confusion may have resulted from a third, stationary train nearby.

Clay County Commissioner Ken Pawluk, who was involved during the disaster response, says he believes it was a crew member from that train calling.

The NTSB is still investigating the cause of the derailment.

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