3 arrested in oil train protest

by: Nick McGurk Updated:

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SEATTLE —

A candidate for state legislature was among those arrested for criminal trespass after refusing to leave the train tracks in an oil train protest Thursday in Seattle.

Jess Spear told KIRO 7 it was not a political stunt as she and two others were arrested.

More than a dozen joined them in protests but left the tracks when police warned them arrests would follow.

The protest happened roughly a mile from where a train, loaded with tanks of oil, derailed last week under the Magnolia Bridge.

"If it means we have to get arrested to do that, then we're here to do that,” said Spear.

“We just had an oil train derail, one week ago, and we dodged a bullet there,” she added.

Protestors Thursday said what happened a week ago was lucky since no oil spilled and nobody was injured.

They point to an oil train derailment and explosion in Quebec last year that killed 47 people.

BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas told us on average, 2.5 oil trains move through the Pacific Northwest every day.

"If an oil train did explode here, then downtown would be turned into an incinerator,” said City Council member Kshama Sawant. She called for a moratorium on oil trains in the city.

We checked it out by calling the Office of Emergency Management, and a spokesperson confirmed there is no specific plan in place for oil train problems -- but said the fire department would know what to do.

A spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department sent KIRO 7 an email saying the department is working on a training guide specifically for oil train disasters.