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Mississippi town evacuated after train derailment spills flammable chemicals

Published time: January 31, 2014 21:29
Reuters / Andrew Burton

Reuters / Andrew Burton

Dozens of families were forced from their southeastern Mississippi homes Friday after a train derailed, tipping over cars carrying fuel oil and methanol and causing officials to grow concerned about another potentially deadly chemical spill.

The Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles announced that the train, which was traveling from Jackson, Miss. To Mobile, Ala., ran off the tracks at 9 A.M. local time (10 A.M. EST) and that no one was hurt in the incident outside New Augusta.

The approximately 50 people living within a half-mile radius of the accident were evacuated, though, because the train was hauling an ethanol-based product that spilled. Surrounding highways were also shutdown as a precaution because of ethanol's high flammability. Between 3,000 and 4,000 gallons were spilled, according to local estimates.

“Dozens of families were forced from their southeastern Mississippi homes Friday after a train derailed, tipping over cars carrying fuel oil and methanol and causing officials to grow concerned about another potentially deadly chemical spill.,” Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith told WDAM-TV in New Augusta. “We are just trying to get everything detained and cleaned up.”

The American Red Cross was on hand to give shelter to those forced from their homes, with disaster program manager Angie Grajeda saying, “Residents should pack as if they are going on a small one-to-two day camping trip.”

If the evacuation seemed to some like an over-reaction that could be because 2013 was a tough year for the railroad industry. Recently unveiled federal data compiled by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration found that more crude oil spilled from trains in the last year alone that over the previous 37 years combined.

Comments (6)

 

rudy caparros 10.02.2014 19:29

CHLORINE GAS TRANSPORTATION SAFETY
First Responders ask federal administrations to consider adding secondary containment to rail tank cars used to transport chlorine gas, providing lifesaving safety to First Responders and the public they serve. See First Responders Comments at PETITION C KIT.

 

Waterflaws in Denver 03.02.2014 21:00

If Al-Quaeda had done it, we would have already attacked Iran. When a CORPORATION does it,m it's just an unavoidable part of our greatest religion, "CAPITALISM&quo t;, to be cleaned up by taxpayers then forgotten. I say "Never forgive, never forget."

 

Dave Harpe 03.02.2014 18:11

All the recent derailments in the United States are more evidence of our crumbling infrastructure and lack of needed maintenance on rails and everything else. We have millions of unemployed people, billions of dollars sequestered in the bloated bank accounts of the super rich, and lots of work that needs to be done. Unfortunately, those rich people control the government, and they are going to make sure they never have to pay their share of the taxes. That means no money will be available for maintenance, and this situation can only get worse and worse as time goes on.

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