Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pike Place Market vendors fear oil trains will explode beneath iconic landmark

Trains carrying highly flammable Bakken crude oil run one- to three-times every day right under downtown Seattle through a century-old tunnel that does not meet modern safety standards, according to BNSF Railway and Seattle fire officials.

Pike Place Market vendors fear oil trains will explode beneath iconic landmark

March 20, 2015, by Hana Kim,     video at site        Fox13

SEATTLE — The hustle and bustle of Pike Place market is what vendor Sharon Shaw

“I was appointed the mother of the market several years ago,” Shaw said Friday.

She worries the landmark and the thousands who visit every day could be a risk.

“It doesn’t take anything to do a derailment and then it’s an explosion,” Shaw said.

Up to three trains hauling highly flammable Bakken crude oil rumble by each day,  passing under the market and through highly populated areas of Western Washington.

On Friday, vendors came together to demand Burlington Northern Santa Fe stop hauling Bakken crude or reroute the trains.

The potential danger is real — 47 people died in an inferno in Quebec, Canada, after a train carrying Bakken derailed.

There has been no explosion in Washington, but the state’s rail safety regulators are now threatening BNSF with a $700,000 fine. Regulators are accusing the company of failing to properly report more than a dozen hazardous leaks from its trains in the past three months.

“It’s a real sign of the reckless disregard that oil companies have that the railroads have,” former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said.

BNSF addressed the issue in a written statement: ....    more here

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