Train Derailment and Toxic Chemical Spill Forces Evacuation
By Rick Shapiro, Railroad Accident Injury Attorney
Train cars often carry hazardous materials. Toxic chemical spills and exposure happen more often than you would think. So, it came as no surprise when I heard that a derailed train in Port Hope, Ontario, sparked an evacuation order that affected about two dozen homes in a rural area.
There is no news yet how the train derailed but we do know that, the train cars involved in the derailment were carrying very dangerous and volatile chemicals to include one containing propane, two with aviation fuel, one carrying residual sulphuric acid and two with residual petroleum. As well, a natural gas line was reportedly ruptured. At least one tanker could be seen burning approximately a mile away and sparked a grass fire. Flames were still coming from the area late Sunday.
“There were flames and smoke visible from the wreckage and tanker cars were stacked up like Lincoln logs,” a witness said. At the time of the derailment, people had been working in the field near a backhoe just meters away from where the wreckage landed. Thankfully those witnesses were not hurt but in many train derailments they are, such as the Graniteville, South Carolina (SC), chlorine gas train derailment disaster.
For railroad workers such as engineers, conductors or other transportation workers in the USA, it is important that workers require that management follow all state and federal regulations that govern the transportation of dangerous chemicals or gases. Railroad in the US are now required to have hazmat (hazardous materials) plans to deal with chemicals. For example, a full scale drill should be conducted by every railroad on a periodic basis so that workers are familiar with what steps to take in case of a hazardous or toxic spill of chemicals, gasses or dangerous substances. In other words, simply having a plan on the books is not going to prepare workers for such a real disaster.
As an experienced rail road attorney who has stood shoulder to shoulder with victims of railroad greed and negligence, I am familiar with the uphill battle that train accident injury and exposure to toxic substances cases can become.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is an injury law firm with a long history of representing railroad workers in FELA and other railroad injury cases. Check out our railroad injury case results to see for yourself. Our offices are in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, SC, WV, KY and DC and have handled hundreds of railroad injury and FELA cases throughout the eastern United States. We would like to send you one of our FREE reports about railroad injury and FELA cases, including Dos and Don’ts When Injured at a Railroad — Yours FELA Rights and What Railroad Claim Agents Won’t Tell You (But You Must Know). We provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at (800) 752-0042 before giving any statement or talking to a railroad claims agent. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Furthermore, our lawyers proudly moderate the Yardlimits Railroad Community Forum and donate to the Fallen Brother Fund.