Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Toxic Train Derailment in Louisiana, Will it ever happen in Leucadia?
News story: Louisiana Train Derailment and Acid Spill
Monday, May 19th, 2008
A six-car train derailment that caused one of the cars to rupture and leak hydrochloric acid, resulted in the evacuation of thousands this weekend in Louisiana. The acid formed a yellowish pool on the ground and spread a large, toxic cloud over Lafayette, a southern Louisiana city about 125 miles west of New Orleans. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company train was responsible for the derailment and spill.
An evacuation order was enacted early on Saturday morning after an estimated 11,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked from the ruptured rail car. Hydrochloric acid can cause respiratory problems and irritation to the skin and eyes. Cleanup crews used lime to neutralize the chemical, while contractors for the rail company excavated the acid for disposal. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, the railroad company intends to dig out and dispose of the resultant material. According to state police, over half of the 11,000 gallons of acid has been removed so far.
The derailment and spill affected a large scope of Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish area and, following the derailment, approximately 3,000 residents and businesses in northwest Lafayette—all those within a one-mile perimeter of the derailment—were displaced.
Are the city of Encinitas emergency responders trained and equipped for an event like a train derailment with a toxic spill?
What if the late night Santa Fe freight train derails and unleashes a toxic cloud over coastal Leucadia at 2 am?
What would a coastal Leucadia evacuation look like, especially if the Leucadia Blvd intersection was closed?