Early Friday morning, rail cars carrying hazardous materials derailed and burst into flames in a remote part of North Dakota. Despite the dramatic scene, officials reported no injuries and minimal threat to nearby residents.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 a.m., when twenty-nine cars of a CPKC train derailed in a farmland area about 10 miles southeast of Carrington.

The derailed cars were transporting anhydrous ammonia, sulfur, and methanol.  Among these, the ammonia posed the greatest risk. Fortunately, the wind carried the smoke away from Bordulac, a nearby town with around 20 residents.

Health officials warn that high concentrations of airborne ammonia can cause severe irritation and damage to the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract, potentially leading to blindness, lung damage, or even death.

Even lower exposure levels can cause coughing and irritation of the nose and throat.

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This marks just the latest train derailment in North Dakota and across the nation with the most notable occurring in Palestine, Michigan which resulted in pollution from the wreckage and subsequent controlled burn of several of the train's cars spread over 16 states in the Midwest, Northeast and Southern U.S., reaching 540,000 square miles or 14% of the U.S. land area.

Researchers estimate that 110 million residents, or one-third of the nation's population, were impacted by pollution.

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