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So. Jersey toxic chemical train derailment leaves residents gasping for air

njdeplogo_optBY SAMANTHA NEGRAVAL
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Superstorm Sandy brought new environmental hazards and concerns about New Jersey’s infrastructure. Now a toxic chemical accident in South Jersey has called even more attention to these issues.

The accident occurred at approximately 7 a.m. Friday when a rail bridge over Mantua Creek in Paulsboro, N.J. collapsed as a freight train was crossing. The Gloucester County Times reports that three tanks of flammable vinyl chloride dumped into the creek that links to the Delaware River near Philadelphia. Seven cars in total are said to have derailed.

The accident led to a multi-agency response, from local authorities to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“Initially, there was a release of gas into the air that affected some nearby residents and people working in that area,” said Larry Ragonese, a DEP spokesman, according to Reuters.

Fox also reports that local schools were put on lockdown and residents in three towns were told to stay indoors. 18 patients treated at a local hospital said they had difficulty breathing. The EPA told Fox that short-term exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride can also cause drowsiness and dizziness.

The cause of the derailment remains unclear at this time, but the Gloucester County Times reports that the same bridge collapsed in 2009 under the weight of a 50-ton coal train.

"Most of the danger has passed," reports officials via CNN. But it could be days before a crane large enough to lift the train makes its way to the scene of the accident.

trainderailment113012_opt

 
Comments (4)
4 Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:10
TGOTECH
TOXIC TRAIN SAFETY - A First Responders Petition caused The Chlorine Institute to conduct a five-month study comparing the safety of secondary containment to the chlorine “C”-Kit for chlorine tank cars. The study proved secondary containment to be, by far, the safest technology for containing and preventing releases of chlorine gas. To see secondary containment - search “CHLORTANKER.”
3 Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:09
cal chem
WARNING: FIRST RESPONDERS’ use of THE CHLORINE INSTITUTE “C” KIT may cause the catastrophic failure of a chlorine tank car, instantly creating a toxic gas plume with a distance of not less than seven miles. The first mile will have chlorine concentrations of 1,000 ppm, causing death after one or two breaths with no opportunity for escape. To learn more, see PETITION C KIT, click on “First Responder Warnings.”
2 Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:07
TGOTECH
TOXIC TRAIN SAFETY - A First Responders Petition caused The Chlorine Institute to conduct a five-month study comparing the safety of secondary containment to the chlorine “C”-Kit for chlorine tank cars. The study proved secondary containment to be, by far, the safest technology for containing and preventing releases of chlorine gas. To see secondary containment - search “CHLORTANKER.”
1 Friday, 28 December 2012 14:37
Rudy Caparros
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.

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