Millions of gallons of highly flammable crude oil roll daily through the busy metropolitan area surrounding Chicago, Chicago Magazine reported.
The so-called "bomb trains," which move along different, top-secret routes, carry mostly Bakken crude — a type known to be particularly explosive.
The trains are usually comprised of traditional tank cars which can carry up to 30,000 gallons each.
While derailments are rare, they're not unheard of. The magazine reported that there were at least 17 such incidents in North America in the previous three years:
In eight of them, the tank cars blew, sending fireballs hundreds of feet into the air, filling the sky with black mushroom clouds. In the most severe cases, the flames produced are so hot that firefighters almost inevitably choose to let them burn out, which can take days, rather than...