Essential Pittsburgh
1:15 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Crude Oil Train Derailment Concerns in Pittsburgh

A scene like the derailment disaster in Quebec is a threat today in Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods.
A scene like the derailment disaster in Quebec is a threat today in Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods.
Credit Elias Schewel / Flickr

More than 40 percent of Pittsburgh's residents live in areas that would be at risk if a train carrying crude oil through the city derails and catches fire.

WESA content partner PublicSource created a map tracking the route of the rail lines known to carry crude oil in the city.

Reporter Natasha Khan says trains are more common in the city and its neighborhoods than people may realize. She also says that city officials are not prepared to handle a large scale accident, such as the one in Quebec last year.

“There have been emergency response officials in big cities, small cities, that have testified in front of Congress in the last couple months since this issue has really gained traction, that there’s no emergency management office in the country that would be able to deal with that large of a scale of an accident.”

Read Khan’s original story on derailments and view PublicSource’s map tracking the routes of trains transporting crude oil. You can also watch a video of Khan discussing her story.