Figure 1- The Canadian Pacific train that derailed in North Dakota on 3/26/23. Photo credit:

On Sunday night of March 26, 2023, a Canada Pacific train derailed, affecting 31 of its 70 cars, which caused hazardous materials including petroleum for asphalt to spill out into the surrounding land. This incident marks yet another hazardous cargo derailment, only two short months after the catastrophic derailment that occurred near East Palestine, Ohio and more broadly marks a frightful, rising trend of train derailments across the country.

Early reports indicate that the incident occurred in Richland County, North Dakota, about sixty miles from Fargo, North Dakota; emergency personnel and hazmat specialists were dispatched to the area to verify that there was no fire and to ensure that the hazardous spill was contained. Four affected cars were filled with liquid asphalt and two others were filled with ethylene glycol. Another car was carrying propylene, which is an extremely flammable fuel gas with a pungent smell, was reportedly pierced, releasing vapor into the open air.

According to officials, the spilled material will be allowed to freeze to expedite the remediation, which is estimated to take seven to ten days. Canadian Pacific personnel have reportedly begun cleanup along with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality.

At this time, investigators believe that a broken rail caused the derailment. However, there can be no doubt that railroad carriers on the national hotseat following the East Palestine derailment, along with the monthly derailments that have followed. The incident in North Dakota is unfortunately, unlikely to be the last.

As carriers engaged in transnational transport, railroad companies have a duty to their employees and the public to operate in a reasonable and safe manner. If you have sustained physical injuries because of a train derailment, you may have rights against the railroad company.

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the longest-standing personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to obtain just compensation for our clients. Call us today at 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584 for your free consultation.