Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

North Dakota Police Officer Discusses Dakota Train Wreck, Poison Cloud

Aired January 18, 2002 - 10:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to bring you up to date on breaking news that we're hearing about out of North Dakota -- Minot, North Dakota, to be exact -- a train derailment that is resulting in a number of injuries.

Let's bring in Lt. Douglas Lockrem. He is with the Minot Police Department.

Sir, good morning.

DOUGLAS LOCKREM, MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Good morning

KAGAN: Can you tell us exactly what happened with this train accident, please?

LOCKREM: At about 1:39 this morning, we were notified of a train derailment approximately two miles west of Minot. As a result of that train derailment, at least one tank car in that train was carrying anhydrous ammonia, and it was leaking, which covered the valley city of Minot with a cloud of anhydrous ammonia.

KAGAN: That anhydrous ammonia is a farm fertilizer.

LOCKREM: Correct.

KAGAN: Which is good thing if you have a farm, but it's not the kind of thing you want to be breathing in in this concentrated form, like people around there might be.

LOCKREM: Correct.

KAGAN: So what kind of injuries are we talking about so far.

LOCKREM: We have law enforcement officers, one from the police department and one from the sheriff's department, that ended up having some difficulty breathing, which weakened their systems somewhat.

KAGAN: As I understand it, you are telling people in the Minot area to stay inside and not to run their furnaces -- is that right?

LOCKREM: Correct.

KAGAN: I would think it is pretty cold this time of year.

LOCKREM: Yes it is. I think it was about 6 degrees below zero this morning. The reason for that is because your furnace brings in outside air, which would circulate the anhydrous ammonia around in your home. That was the reason for telling people to turn their furnaces off. We also asked them to check their doors and windows and make sure that they were securely closed and to put towels up against areas that would allow outside air to come in. We also suggested that they go into their bathrooms, turn on their warm water, create some humidity in the room, and also wet a towel and breathe through the towel.

KAGAN: You let us know about those two police officers who were not doing too well. "The Associated Press" is reporting there has been at least one death. Can you confirm that?

LOCKREM: I can confirm there has been one.

KAGAN: Is that related to the exact train accident, or to the gas, the ammonia, that is in the air?

LOCKREM: My understanding is as a result of the anhydrous ammonia.

KAGAN: How long is it supposed to take for this gas cloud to clear up over the town?

LOCKREM: That depends on the wind velocity and the direction that it is blowing. Minot is in a valley. The confluence of two rivers runs through the city of Minot. As a result of the anhydrous ammonia being heavier than air and the city being in the valley, the wind blowing out of the west blew it right through the middle of town.

We have canceled schools. The airport was shut down for a period of time this morning. People were advised not to travel, so that you didn't get out into the anhydrous ammonia cloud and become ill.

KAGAN: Because of that cloud, I guess you are suggesting people stay in their homes and turn off the furnaces rather than evacuate the area.

LOCKREM: Correct.

KAGAN: We will let you go to try to deal with the situation.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top