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    Default Burning Train In Kentucky

    Train Wreck Fire Still Burning Out Of Control

    POSTED: 8:09 am EST January 17, 2007
    UPDATED: 8:16 am EST January 17, 2007

    BROOKS, Ky. -- Thick, billowing smoke and flames fed by volatile chemicals leaking from a derailed train belched into the sky early Wednesday, frustrating officials long after the accident shut down a highway and forced evacuations.

    With water appearing to be of little use in putting out the flames, fire officials expected it would burn out by Wednesday morning and then cleanup operations could begin.

    "The amount of water that we're flowing is just ungodly, and it's not making a lot of headway, to be quite honest," said Rob Orkies, fire chief of the Zoneton Fire District in Bullitt County. Firefighters used 2,000 gallons of foam, including a large quantity from a nearby chemical factory, from late Tuesday to Wednesday morning.

    "It's a better weapon of choice," Maj. Garry Key of the Zoneton Fire Department said. The foam smothers the flames." Despite the efforts of 60 firefighters, Key said the blaze remained out of control at 6 a.m. EST.

    The accident Tuesday caused no serious injuries, but at least 11 people near the crash site south of Louisville checked themselves into a hospital and were soon released, authorities said. Officials asked residents within a mile to evacuate.

    The blaze produced a large column of black smoke in the mostly rural area. Television footage showed several blazing CSX cars stacked across the rail lines and flaming liquid flowing down ditches from the mangled tanker cars.

    Bullitt County resident Daymon Strange said he was outside his home less than a half-mile from the crash site when he heard an explosion.

    "I turned around and looked and there was fire at least 500 feet in the air," he said in a telephone interview. "I've never seen such a fire. It was huge."

    The chemicals released when 12 of the train cars derailed were cyclohexane, methyl ethyl ketone, butadiene and alcohol, said Gary Sease, a CSX spokesman.

    "These substances themselves are pretty toxic, but when they burn they break down a whole lot," said Jeremey Urekew, a spokesman for Bullitt County Emergency Management. "This fire is going to burn itself out."

    Two other cars were carrying hazardous materials that could pose an environmental threat, but they were not near the fire. The train -- with four locomotives and 80 cars - was headed to Louisville from Birmingham, Ala.

    The crash occurred shortly before 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, and an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 65 was closed for about 11 hours. The Kentucky National Guard said it mobilized 20 to 25 soldiers and airmen to check air quality.

    Art Smith of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said officials would continue to monitor the air and that a nearby creek would be sampled and private wells identified for monitoring.

    The Red Cross set up a shelter in neighboring Jefferson County for evacuees, but only about a dozen people had checked in by early evening, said William Ney, a volunteer.

    Mark Rosenker, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the event recorder from the train would be sent to Washington for reading.

    The track had been inspected by CSX inspectors on Monday, Rosenker said. Results of toxicology tests performed on the two-man crew were expected within two weeks, he said.

    It was the second fiery train crash in Kentucky in two days. On Monday, four runaway rail cars struck two parked locomotives in central Kentucky, catching fire and spilling a chemical that prompted a limited evacuation.

    Previous Stories:
    January 16, 2007: Fiery Train Wreck Forces Evacuation

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.
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    http://zonetonfire.com can get you a link to the MSDS sheets they have posted as the train's consist.
    Though it's being called out of control,it hasn't spread and is being watched closely for breakouts and what spilled is being monitored.I'd say it's being controlled and allowed to burn to ease the clean up efforts.But that's just me from 3 years experience.Those with more may disagree and will correct me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    http://zonetonfire.com can get you a link to the MSDS sheets they have posted as the train's consist.
    Though it's being called out of control,it hasn't spread and is being watched closely for breakouts and what spilled is being monitored.I'd say it's being controlled and allowed to burn to ease the clean up efforts.But that's just me from 3 years experience.Those with more may disagree and will correct me.

    Doug, add my 48 to your 3. You are correct. In (Relatively) rural areas, it is sometimes Safer, Cheaper, Easier, and smarter to just let the damn thing burn. From what I have learned on this specific incident, a controlled burn is the best option. The one drawback to this type of operation is the delay in getting the railroad running again. SOP here is, as soon as the debris is cool enough, have Hazmat check it out. If they are satisfied, then push everything off to one side, and get one track rebuilt and operational. Second track is rebuilt next, and Trains run both ways until normal service times are restored. As soon as service times are back, then one track is used intermittently for cranes and other equipment to finish the cleanup process.
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    Basically its filled with Methyl-ethyl-Kill Ya

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    I know the initial crews didn't know what was in them so they weren't packed up while stringing out that LDH,but wouldn't it be an idea for everyone to pack up until you knew for sure what you were dealing with?
    I was able to see several folks in turn outs jogging around sans air packs and burning railcars were visible in the shot.
    Incidentally,my three years as a volunteer firefighter were just outside Paducah Ky.I've been to Louisville twice to attend state fire schools and we'd have to drive I-65 past there to get there.

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    Rule of thumb squared:
    1st guy there cover the scene with his thumb to gauge distance. Second in covers the first guy with HIS thumb. Then we start figuring.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by quint1officer View Post
    Rule of thumb squared:
    1st guy there cover the scene with his thumb to gauge distance. Second in covers the first guy with HIS thumb. Then we start figuring.......
    Sounds like the rule of thumb my EMT instructor taught us last year:"When you arrive on scene,hold out your thumb extended like this."(demonstrates holding thumb up like he's hitchhiking)
    "Now,if you can see what's going on on scene,you are too close and need to re-stage to a safer location where you can NOT see what's going on when you try again."

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    I know the initial crews didn't know what was in them so they weren't packed up while stringing out that LDH,but wouldn't it be an idea for everyone to pack up until you knew for sure what you were dealing with?
    I was able to see several folks in turn outs jogging around sans air packs and burning railcars were visible in the shot.
    Incidentally,my three years as a volunteer firefighter were just outside Paducah Ky.I've been to Louisville twice to attend state fire schools and we'd have to drive I-65 past there to get there.
    I was the 2nd unit in. We were packed up.
    The people not in air packs were 1/2 mile from the scene.
    NTSB, FEMA, EPA, and anyone else that has all the facts say it was textbook. Proud of my district.

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