Toxic Train Derailment Burning Out of Control

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The latest reports advise several cars carrying hazardous material are still on fire.

Apparently, nobody learned anything from the big train disaster in East Palestine, Ohio last year. There’s been another one with some striking similarities in North Dakota. This one happened early Friday morning, July 5. The latest reports advise “several cars carrying hazardous material are still on fire, according to local authorities.” This is still a breaking story and we’ll update you with more details as they become available.

Toxic train derailment

As related by Foster County Emergency Management Director Andrew Kirking, “911 was notified about the train derailment in the small town of Bordulac, about 140 miles northeast of Fargo, between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. local time.

By Friday afternoon “several cars” were still on fire. The bad news is that they’re carrying hazardous materials.

One of the things revealed by the investigation into the East Palestine train disaster is that the tank cars carrying hazardous chemicals can take a lot more abuse than most people would imagine. The decision in Ohio to do a controlled burn and explosion to prevent an uncontrolled explosion was totally the wrong move.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was grilled on the congressional witness stand about that just last week.

As Kirking explains, the tank cars carrying hazardous materials remain “intact,” so “authorities have been monitoring air quality near the incident.” From what they can tell, between 25 and 30 cars derailed. North Dakota’s Department of Environmental Quality informs “the train was carrying anhydrous ammonia, sulfur and methanol.

The sulfur may literally smell like Hell but it’s not critically dangerous. Neither is the methanol. The ammonia is a different story. It’s generally used as a fertilizer and “can be extremely dangerous in high quantities, triggering explosions and causing dehydration and severe burns.

It can be extremely dangerous in high quantities, triggering explosions and causing dehydration and severe burns.

Operated by Canadian Pacific Kansas City

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on social media that they’re “monitoring the remediation and cleanup of the derailment.

Local crews, “including the Carrington Fire Department, regional hazardous material officials and Canadian Pacific” responded quickly and began work to contain the damage. The train was operated by Canadian Pacific Kansas City, who issued a statement to the press on Friday.

The company “is continuing its comprehensive, coordinated response” to the toxic train derailment “in collaboration with local officials.” Their own response crews, “including senior officers from our operations, environmental and hazardous materials teams, are on scene coordinating closely with emergency response officials. The safety of the public and emergency responders is CPKC’s first priority.

The last thing they want is a huge cloud of toxic smoke wafting over populated areas. Like what happened last year in Ohio, affecting neighboring Pennsylvania.

Complicating efforts to control the blaze, “crews are trying to bridge a gap over a bog to fight the fires and get heavy equipment to move the train cars.” As Kirking notes, their “objective is to get the fire out in the next 12 to 18 hours.” As he talked to the press, they were “starting to get a little water on it right now.

Clearing away the wreckage is expected to take “more than a week or two.” Everyone within a one-mile radius was notified of the wreck and its up to them to evacuate or not. “The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.” There were two crew members aboard, the engineer and conductor. Both escaped safely.