- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Three groups will receive $5.9 million in federal grants to train first responders to handle railroad incidents involving crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids.

The U.S. Transportation Department announced the grants Monday.

Concerns have been growing about these shipments because the number has surged, and there have been several fiery derailments involving crude oil in recent years.

Railroads carried about 500,000 carloads last year, up from 9,500 in 2008.

The worst derailment happened in July 2013 and killed 47 people in a small Canadian city just across the U.S.-Canada border from Maine.

Officials estimate the grants will pay for training for roughly 25,000 firefighters, police and other responders nationwide.

The grants are going to the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Center for Rural Development and the University of Findlay.

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