Officials call for improved rail safety after trains derail in N.D.

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Updated at 2:21 p.m.

North Dakota officials are renewing calls for improved rail safety after another derailment just west of Fargo-Moorhead.

The Cass County Sheriff's office said two trains traveling at very low speeds in opposite directions derailed late Thursday in rural Casselton, near the site where a fiery oil train crash occurred last year.

On Friday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said BNSF Railway CEO Matt Rose has promised the company will perform a complete analysis of rail track near Casselton.

On Thursday, 21 cars of an eastbound train carrying lumber and paper products derailed. The derailed cars struck a passing empty oil train and 12 cars derailed. There were no injuries.

BNSF officials say the cause appears to be a broken rail.

No problems were detected when the track was visually inspected hours before the accident, railway spokesperson Amy McBeth said.

Federal Railroad Administration records show there have been four derailments in the same location in the past 10 years.

Sgt. Tara Morris of the Cass County Sheriff's office said propane tanks on BNSF Railway property were struck in the derailment. But the sheriff's office said they "do not appear to be compromised." No evacuations have been ordered.

The incident happened west of Casselton near an ethanol plant.

Casselton was the scene of another derailment last year, when a train carrying soybeans derailed and caused a train carrying crude oil to jump the tracks.

There were no injuries, but residents were asked to evacuate because of smoke that drifted when several rail cars burned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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