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Bakken oil safety warning issued by federal government

PHMSA initiates unannounced crude inspections

Following this week's fiery train crash in North Dakota, federal regulators on Thursday issued a safety alert that crude oil being transported from the Bakken region, which stretches through swaths of North Dakota and Montana, may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said it issued the alert to notify the public, emergency responders, shippers and carriers as a result of its preliminary inspections after recent train derailments and resulting fires in North Dakota, Alabama and Canada.

(Read more: Train collision forces N. Dakota town evacuation)