S.C. Freight Train Collision Kills 8

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by I_LuV_AliyA, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. I_LuV_AliyA

    I_LuV_AliyA Member

    GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Eight people died from yellow fumes released when two trains collided early Thursday. A Norfolk Southern train crashed into another parked alongside the track.

    The wreck is the second in two months in the small textile mill town near the Georgia state line. In November, five people were killed when their car was hit by a train at a rail crossing.

    The moving train, headed from Augusta, Ga., to Columbia, was carrying the chlorine gas. The parked train didn't have anyone on board.

    All of Thursday's victims were men. Five were workers on the night shift at Avondale Mills Inc. plants nearby. One, a Canadian resident, died in a truck near the plant and one man died at his home. The train engineer died at a hospital.

    Autopsies are planned Friday, but authorities said all appeared to have died from inhaling the chlorine gas. More than 240 people sought treatment for respiratory and other ailments.

    The toxic gas kept investigators from reaching the site Thursday and officials don't know how the two trains ended up on the same track, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said.

    The leak had slowed considerably Thursday night as Norfolk Southern workers prepared to remove rail cars from the track, said state Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Thom Berry.

    There were at least three hazardous chemicals on the train, Berry said, but officials were most concerned about the chlorine gas, which affects respiratory and central nervous systems. It can damage the throat, nose, eyes and can cause death.

    Most of the 5,400 residents living within a mile of the wreck site were evacuated about 12 hours after the 2:40 a.m. wreck. Until then, residents had been told by authorities to stay inside homes and turn their ventilation systems off. About a dozen people refused to evacuate, but Berry said he did not expect them to be in danger overnight.

    Margie West didn't want to leave her cats or her comfy home when sheriff's deputies showed up at her door with an evacuation order. They wanted her to go to a shelter to get away from the toxic chlorine fumes enveloping her neighborhood.

    West pooh-poohed them, thinking she would wait it out at home. Then, they asked for her next-of-kin in case she died.

    ``Well, I have asthma,'' she said, ``and if anything happened I didn't want to die in the night.''

    By the time the evacuation order was issued, some had already experienced the skin- and eye-burning sensations associated with chlorine contact.

    Cindy Britt, 39, said her throat had begun feeling clogged early in the day, and it took little convincing from deputies to get her out of her home. She sat Thursday in donated clothes on a blue cot in a makeshift shelter at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. She had turned the clothes and shoes she was wearing in to authorities.

    ``She forced me out,'' said Cindy's husband, Randy Britt. ``I was just going to shut the car in the garage and watch TV.''

    01/07/05 07:24

    © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
  2. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    It's amasing how ignorent people are of the actual hazards of alot of the chemicals that are transported over roads and railroads these days, and how little exposure it takes to kill or cause very bad health problems. I found from a recent exposure to chloramine gas just how bad it can be. Chloramine is produced when ammonia and chlorine are mixed. I always knew you weren't supposed to mix them but didn't really know why. I found out the hard way. Chlorine and chloramine gas turn to hydrocloric acid when they come in contact with mucous membranes, i.e. sinusis and lungs. Battery acid up the nose is not pleasant. My exposure was minimum and I am still having problems with it over a month later.
    The whole point, someone tells you to evacute, run...don't walk, go as fast as you can, to as far away as you can get. Don't pack, don't waste time getting this or that. Just get alotta gone. Your life is worth more than any possession you could ever have. You can always get more "things". They don't sell new lives down at the store. Keep in mind that the authorities don't issue evacuation orders when something first happens. It's usually almost too late when they do it. DON'T WASTE TIME......GO!! If you have family or someone close to you that refuses to go, pick their dumb ass's up and carry them. (sorry for the french)
  3. Oldmax

    Oldmax Member

    :wave: Capt Turk

    I worked with Chlorine Gas for over 30 years. It isn't something to fool around with .Chlorine Gas weights more than air and will settle in low spots. Also the Chlorine should not be carried close to Propane Gas . It is an Oxidizer. Bet you didn't know that. I have seen Chlorine and Propane Coupled next to each other all the time on main line trains' "It is only a matter of time before Something ( BIG ) happens. By accident or otherwise.
  4. Climax1880

    Climax1880 Member

    I think that the information one man gave should be a lesson in just how dangerous this stuff is. One man coming from near the wreck said that as he watched, his clothing was being bleached and his cell phone disintegrated in his hand.

    The sad fact is that there are toooooo many people who DO NOT know what these chemicals will do if someone is exposed to them for ANY period of time. And of course you are unaware of just how much stuff is being transported in the country not only on the rails but mostly in trucks. I got caught in an 8-hour traffic jam coming across the Potomac River from Maryland to Virginia on a hot HOT summer day. It all started when a motorist made a tanker truck pull over on I-95 right near Alexandria Va. He told the trucker, "I don't know what the hell you are carrying but it's leaking out and eating holes in the pavement!!!" The Fire dept, HAZMAT teams etc. were called out and they closed I-95 down and evacuated everyone from their homes within 1,000 feet of the scene. Come to find out he was coming from the Norfolk area, carrying some chemicals they use to clean the bilges of ships. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed but it was close. You never know.
  5. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh Division runs right through the middle of my town, well on certain nights of the week there is a tank car that comes through on a train. This tank car has a orangeish red strip that goes around the middle of the car. Not too many people know what is in this car but it is a gas of some sort that the army uses. If so happens and this car would happen to derail and leak, it would take out of whole town. That is how deadly this chemical is. But they only transport it at night.
  6. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    The powers that be, try to play, you cant see me games, with people`s lives, what they dont know wont hurt them, untill something happens. what an attitude to take?...have a good one..steve
  7. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    You are right about that steve. Until something does happen. Then what do they do?
  8. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    They make appoligies, excuses, promice it wont happen again, or that they wont transport the stuff that way again.

    then they send the wagons of to the paint shop,change the markings and off we go again...OH and part with some $$$$$$ to forget the whole thing happend...have a good one..steve
  9. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    I see Steve. The railroads will continue to lie to the people just so they will believe them that they will not do it anymore and some of the people believe them. I would surely be one that would not believe them.

    :wave: Hey you have a good one too :wave:
  10. Oldmax

    Oldmax Member

    How right you are when I first started Hauling Chlorine about 30 years ago it was Plackareded "Compressed Gas" Can you Belive that.
  11. fp9er

    fp9er New Member

    At 11:AM CST Yesterday Morning (Wednesday, January 12) --CN had a derailment in a part of South Winnipeg called Fort Garry -- 10 cars containg calcium chloride, liquid propane, fertilizer and scrap metal left the tracks. People in a Local smitty's Pancake House next to the tracks ran to the windows to watch....and someone said they saw a part of the rail "peel off". They WANTED to see the derailment....!!!!!

    Clever.....! I would have been out of there long before any authorities (who finally got the patrons to clear out of the place) got the bright idea of showing up.......

    Now here's the "kicker": I live in an Apartment Block RIGHT beside the CN Main. If I walk to the end of the Parking lot I can count the rivets on the cars as they go by. And I know what these cars sometimes haul.....The train that derailed would have (except for the accident) gone right past me or into the yards about 2 blocks to the south of me. At the time this derailment happened the train was heading toward those yards and the wind was blowing from the south as well......Getting my "drift"?

    Yes, I have a RR scanner that picks up CN.....and every so often I hear references to X many cars being placarded as "special dangerous". I don't even want to know what's in some of those cars.......

    What surprises me all the time is that nobody ever even THINKS about these trains that go by. The track is "elevated" --higher than the streets--and if those cars --even a mess of containers, for that matter--went off, they'd land in a heap against my building. During daylight hours, I see container trains, grain trains, --but VERY seldom do I see trains with tank cars in their consists. But I'm up after dark, and DO see them.

    Why is it I predominantly see the tank cars after dark? You guys know the answer.....

    Paul McD.
  12. fp9er

    fp9er New Member

    Air Lines and "Sparks".....Further to the Above Post

    While listening to my Scanner last night (CN again) -- I picked up part of a conversation between an engineer and someone in the yards, plus the Control Tower. Somebody informed the Engineer that there were "sparks" coming from one of the cars --from somewhere around the wheels, I gather. The engineer said he knew about the problem , and mentioned he'd also been having trouble with his air lines: the conductor had had to go out and check them during his trip. I believe these problems had started up some 180 miles outside of the City.

    The crew discussed stopping the Train and finally decided to take it into the facility known as the "Transcona Yards". The Engineer was not happy to say the least......

    The guy on the ground said he thought the sparking was coming from a "brake bar". I'd of thought that would be reason to stop the train right there.....! Go figure!

    Paul McD

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