Last week, two different parts of the country faced what could have been significant hazmat disasters. Thankfully though, emergency professionals were quick to the scene in East Chicago, Indiana and Lonoke County, Arkansas.
Indiana: Freight Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails
On Wednesday, February 26, a freight train transporting crude oil through East Chicago, Indiana
derailed at about 5:20 p.m. on the 4600 block of Euclid Ave.
Police say that approximately 41 tanker cars became disconnected from the conductor car
of the train. This caused about 18 of those cars to derail. No injuries or releases have been reported.
Hazmat crews were called to the scene and a portion of Euclid Ave. was closed to contain the area. The derailment is currently under investigation.
Arkansas: Highway Accident Results in Sulfuric Acid Release
An 18-wheeler carrying diluted sulfuric acid and two cars were involved in a vehicular accident and a chemical release at about 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, February 25, in Lonoke County, Arkansas.
The vehicles were traveling southbound on Highway 67 near Austin, Arkansas when one of the cars rear-ended the tanker, which then spilled 2,600 gallons of sulfuric acid
onto the road as a result.
A spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment said there was “minimal impact” from the chemical release
to approximately a quarter mile of the roadway, shoulder, and standing water along the side of the highway. The spokesperson noted that investigators did not observe any impact to nearby waterways.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management confirmed one reported injury, although the crash and chemical release are still under investigation.
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