Senator: Latest train spill shows need to improve safety

LASALLE, Colo. (AP) — Sen. Mark Udall says a Union Pacific derailment and oil spill in Weld County illustrates the importance of upgrading rail safety regulations.

Six of the 100 cars in a crude oil train derailed Friday west of LaSalle, about 45 miles north of Denver. One car leaked.

The amount that spilled wasn’t immediately known. State officials say the spill was contained to a ditch and didn’t reach the nearby South Platte River.

Udall, a Democrat, released a statement shortly after the spill saying the U.S. Department of Transportation has taken some good steps to improve train safety but more needs to be done.

Udall says trains carry 11 percent of the nation’s oil but only a small percentage of tank cars are puncture-resistant.