ST. CLOUD (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Transportation is hiring more rail inspectors in accordance with a new state law.

The legislation was passed in response to the increasing amount of oil trains leaving North Dakota's oil fields and traveling through Minnesota. The state's main route for oil transportation is along the BNSF Railway, which runs through east St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and other communities north of the Twin Cities.

Spokesman Dave Christianson says the state department has already hired two new track inspectors, as well as a new hazardous materials inspector. He says the inspectors are a critical part of Minnesota's response to the amount of freight trains carrying oil through the state.

State officials estimate that eight to 13 oil trains pass through Minnesota every day.