PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A U.S. senator from Pennsylvania on Monday called for measures to provide resources and training to first responders who handle crude oil train derailments.

Under the legislative proposal, a task force on derailments would be created under the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make recommendations to the U.S. Congress for training and resources, Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, said in a statement.

"The increase in train derailments in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation is troubling and requires action," Casey, said.

A series of derailments of trains loaded with crude oil in North America has heightened the focus on rail safety.


Earlier this month, a BNSF Railway [BNISF.UL] train loaded with crude oil derailed in a rural area of northwestern Illinois. A derailment of a CSX Corp train carrying crude oil occurred in February in West Virginia.

In 2013, some 47 people were killed in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.

Casey announced the proposed legislation in Philadelphia, which his office said is one of the nation's most heavily traveled regions for rail shipments of crude oil.

In January 2014, a CSX train carrying crude oil partially derailed on a bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

The recommendations would address such issues as funding for training, access to communications technology and development of a train incident database, Casey's statement said.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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