NY steps up disaster drills as oil trains increase

train tracks

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Firefighters are getting some practice battling crude oil fires as part of stepped-up efforts by the Cuomo administration to address safety threats from increased rail shipment of highly flammable crude from North Dakota to East Coast refineries.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is hosting a two-day disaster training drill at the Port of Albany on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday afternoon, fire and hazardous materials personnel will practice using fire suppressant foam to douse flames in a simulated oil-spill fire.

Albany’s port has become a major hub for crude oil transport, with oil trains arriving daily on routes that cross the state from the west and north.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his administration has ramped up railroad inspections and increased preparedness training for potential oil train disasters.

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