“Chlorine, it is among the most potent air toxics,” stated Nichols, a vocal member of Residents Appearing for Rail Security Twin Cities. “In some instances, firefighters have been killed, and lots of others have been sickened. … It is a fairly nasty materials if it will get out of the bottle.”
Nichols contacted St. Paul Emergency Administration, ultimately corresponding with director Rick Larkin. They stated that they had no details about a derailment over or close to the river. Nichols referred to as Ramsey County Emergency Administration and its director, Judd Freed. They hadn’t heard both. Days of inquiry led nowhere, although Larkin promised in a July 12 e-mail to Nichols that he would make inquiries of his personal.
The outcomes of his calls have been eye-opening. On a bridge over the Mississippi because the practice passes downtown, the wheels of a number of rail automobiles had certainly left the monitor three weeks earlier. And one other automotive with the identical practice was carrying chlorine when it additionally turned partially derailed later that morning. Nichols even obtained footage of apparent injury to the Robert Road carry bridge’s railroad planks.
“That revelation — discovering out from a involved residents group — is definitely not the best way I might need to be told of that state of affairs,” stated Larkin, who additionally serves as president of the Affiliation of Minnesota Emergency Managers. “I positive would need to hear it from the railroads earlier than anyone else.”
Larkin stated his working relationship with the railroads, which has not all the time been open and trusting, had improved over the previous 18 months, they usually despatched representatives to a multi-company emergency preparedness workshop in April. He stated not being notified of the June 22 incident was a frustration and disappointment.
“So this time all the things labored out OK. There was no product launch, no practice automobiles within the river,” he stated. “However what are we doing to ensure it does not occur once more? None of us need a rail automotive on its aspect, whether or not we’re representatives of the group or CEO of the railroad.”
A spokeswoman for Union Pacific confirmed particulars of the 2-half incident to the Pioneer Press, together with the presence of chlorine.
At 2:forty five a.m. on June 22, a Thursday, three empty rail automobiles partially derailed close to Union Pacific’s South St. Paul rail yard. The derailed automobiles have been a part of a 166-automotive practice touring from Altoona, Wis., to St. Paul. A single rail automotive’s wheels had gone off the tracks over the river on the Robert Road railroad bridge, inflicting a logjam down the road. The…