The railroad cars involved in the fiery derailment in West Virginia on Monday were a newer model that was supposed to be safer than older tankers blamed in other oil train explosions.
The ruptured cars were built to specifications adopted by the railroad industry in 2011 amid criticism that older tankers were dangerously susceptible to puncture and a risk of explosion. Called CPC 1232 cars, they were also involved in an April 2014 derailment and explosion in Lynchburg, Va.
The specifications for the newer cars were issued by the Association of American Railroads, whose members include major freight carriers in North America. They came amid concerns that older models called DOT-111s, which still carry a majority of the crude oil shipped by rail, were unsafe.
CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost today confirmed that the ruptured tankers that caught fire were CPC 1232 models.