It has been extensively reported in the media that train cars carrying toxic cargo fell off a bridge in New Jersey next week and that due to the accident, several houses were evacuated and multiple schools were closed.
According to the multiple reports, 71 residents were sent to the hospital with respiratory issues after the occurrence. Some complained of experiencing scratchy throats as well. News agencies reported that sixty-eight patients were later sent back home. Officials from the local environmental agencies reported that although most of the danger is now out of sight, agents are still working hard to clean up the release of the vinyl chloride that leaked from the crashed train cars.
Officials say that, although a limited area was evacuated and children were placed on lockdown, no environmental emergency has been announced. The creek where the cars carrying the toxic components fell into were blocked with the use of booms, which were placed strategically to contain the 180,000 pounds of vinyl chloride.
The material is used by companies that produce vinyl and plastic products, which may include PVC pipes. This ingredient is labeled as a Group A human carcinogen, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated. According to CNN and an official spokesman, the air in the region has been monitored and is now safe. Footage of the accident show that the two tanker cars remained dangling from the bridge while other cars were in the creek. Some appeared to sink amid the smoke.
People who have been exposed to high-levels of vinyl chloride ay experience drowsiness, headaches and dizziness.
Some of the local officials have reported that the bridge where the accident took place is old and its structure was not as strong as it once was in spite of the fact the bridge went into a rebuild three years ago. Before the rebuilding work the bridge underwent, posts failed in the past.
Local authorities reported that at least three major trains go across that same bridge every day. The crew that works in the station will undergo drug testing and the maintenance history of the bridge will be examined by the authorities. The causes behind this accident can’t be determined yet, reports indicate. The company Conrail, which is the firm that owns the freight-only bridge, is also working closely with the authorities and federal agents to help identify exactly what may have led to this accident.
For more on this accident and how locals are dealing with the risks associated with this accident and the potential risks linked to the vinyl chloride, click here to read the full article.