Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things that go Boom in the night ... UpDated

Yet another hazardous material derailment, resulting in a fire and dislocation of 100 residents.  This derailment and fire near Gainford, Alberta, occurring early this morning.

Witnesses reported a massive fireball, probably one of several cars containing Liquified Natural Gas, shot across Trans Canada Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway.)  Scorched pavement and brush fire clearly visible.

Listen to an eyewitness account.  Janette Powell lives in the house to the left.  She tells of siding melted off her house.

This is the third CN derailment in recent weeks.  It will likely fan opposition to the crude-by-rail boom taking place in Canada as the country's oil producers seek alternatives to congested pipelines.

Already, the State of Washington has pulled two permits for oil terminals at Hoquiam and Longview, requesting additional input as to safety and ecologic impacts in the event of an accident.

On September 3, 1983, a classic LNG tank car explosion - correctly referred to as a Boiling Liquid, Expanding Vapor Explosion, BLEVE, created the massive fireball, captured by a TV crew near Murdock Illinois.

So you can understand how Highway 16 became scorched.

TSB released their preliminary finding:

"Railway investigation R13E0142 Train derailment and fire in Gainford, Alberta The occurrence On 19 October 2013, while traveling westward into Gainford siding on the Edson Subdivision, CN Train M30151-18, with 134 cars, experienced an undesired emergency brake application in the area of the Gainford siding.

Inspection revealed that cars 13 through 25 had derailed and were on their side. Dangerous goods were involved. The first four derailed cars were carrying petroleum crude oil and the following 9 cars were carrying liquefied petroleum gas. Sparks and flames were visible to the crew. No injuries were reported. The Transportation Safety Board has deployed a team of investigators."

How a Professional Rail Executive Responds

Late today, Jim Vena, CN Rail executive vice-president and chief operating officer, offered his apologies to the residents of Gainford. In sharp contrast to the bumbling Ed Burkhardt, who waited several days before his bumbled visit to Lac Megantic, Quebec.

Finally, adding insult to injury, Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche says Ed Burkhardt backed out of a scheduled meeting late Wednesday afternoon at the last minute, citing "scheduling" problems. He did not apologize. He made no effort Thursday to reschedule, she said. He left town instead. Roy-Laroche, who lost two cousins in the disaster, said Burkhardt's actions showed a lack of respect for the devastated residents.

Burkhardt noted his net worth had gone down, that he’d been working hard at his desk, 20 hours a day and was tired — small comfort to grieving relatives

See Also:  The Night a Train Destroyed a Town

4 Comments - Click here:

Eric said...

Nevermind poor old Albert, Robert. What about the landslide I saw in Port Townsend on the news? Everything alright there?

Robert in Port Townsend said...

I just added a link to this story. Interview with woman who lives in the house to the left frame. Harrowing tale she tells!

Landslides are a way of life on Puget Sound. The region is compose of glacial till. Its the reason BNSF is plagued with slides over by Everett. I've written a draft article, but keep getting side-tracked, if you know what I mean ...

Eric said...

I know exactly what you mean, Robert. Thanks for answering my questions. I saw the video on the news. It's easy to get sidetracked when so much is going on!

PaulMess said...

some of the cars carried 'liquified petroleum gas' (lpg), not 'liquified natural gas' (lng). there are two very different products.
btw - the wsj corrected the lng/lpg reference in today's (22oct) corrections

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