Death toll up to 150 in Ghana gas station explosion, floods

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The death toll from a huge gas station explosion and flooding in Ghana's capital has more than doubled to 150 people, the president said Thursday night.

Dozens of people had sought shelter at the gas station and in nearby shops in central Accra to escape the torrential rains at the time of Wednesday night's blast. Flooding swept fuel being stored at the station into a nearby fire, triggering the explosion that also set ablaze neighboring buildings, officials said.


At least 73 dead in Ghana after explosion at gas station

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — A gasoline station in Ghana's capital blew up while many people were sheltering there from a torrential rainfall and flooding, killing at least 73 people and leaving a gruesome scene with charred bodies and neighboring buildings set alight, authorities said Thursday.

Billy Anaglate, a spokesman for Ghana Fire Service, said crews were recovering bodies early Thursday at the scene.


69 killed as tanker truck explodes in southern Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A runaway oil tanker truck exploded in a crowded bus station in the south of the country, setting ablaze 12 buses carrying passengers and killing 69 people, Nigeria's Red Cross and police said Monday.

Red Cross chairman Peter Emeka Kathy said about 30 other victims have been hospitalized with severe burns. He said the truck was barreling down the hill when the brakes failed and it ploughed into the bus station at Onitsha, the state capital, before exploding.

US officials revive oil train safety order after complaints

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials are extending an order for railroads to notify states about shipments of hazardous crude oil shipments.

Emergency responders had raised worries over a new rule that did away with the requirement.


Federal agency dings Shell for oil rig mishap in Arctic

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks permits for exploratory oil drilling off Alaska's northwest coast, a federal agency has concluded the company underestimated risk the last time it moved drill rigs to Arctic waters.

A National Transportation Safety Board report issued Thursday said the probable cause of the grounding of the company's mobile drilling vessel, the Kulluk, in 2012 was "Shell's inadequate assessment of the risk for its planned tow" across the Gulf of Alaska.


Fire on coastal Louisiana oil platform extinguished

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A fire that burned for more than a day on an oil production platform off Louisiana's coast was extinguished early Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

The fire was on a platform in Breton Sound near environmentally delicate barrier islands off the state's southeast coast. It was reported out around 6 a.m. after firefighting crews boarded the platform, Petty Officer Carlos Vega said.


Feds issue safety recommendations to avoid oil tank fumes

The Denver Post

An oil industry association says it will do its best to spread the word about the danger posed to workers opening crude oil production tanks, after federal officials urged the use of respiratory protection and remote access to storage tanks to avoid deadly hydrocarbon fumes, The Denver Post reports.


Oil industry challenges rules meant to stop train explosions

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. oil industry has filed a court challenge to new rules aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic accidents involving crude moved by rail, following a string of fiery derailments in recent years.

The American Petroleum Institute petition to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., would set aside a requirement for improvements to railroad tank cars that are known to fail during accidents.


BNSF reopens track at ND site of oil train derailment, fire

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — BNSF Railway resumed shipments Friday along a track in North Dakota two days after an oil train derailed and caught fire, and cleanup continued on an undetermined amount of crude that was spilled.

The mainline through the town of Heimdal reopened after six derailed tank cars were removed and a section of track that was damaged during the accident was repaired and inspected, BNSF Vice President Mike Trevino said.


Oil in North Dakota derailment was treated to cut volatility

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A shipment of oil involved in an explosive train derailment in North Dakota had been treated to reduce its volatility, a company official said Thursday.

Hess Corporation spokesman John Roper said the company's oil complied with a state law that requires propane, butane and other volatile gases to be stripped out of crude before it can be transported. That conditioning process lowers the vapor pressure of the oil to reduce the chance of an ignition during a crash.


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