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Train car carrying 30,000 gallons of propane derails, overturns: ‘It looks like a minefield’
Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Bounds (Image Source: WFLA-TV video screenshot)

Train car carrying 30,000 gallons of propane derails, overturns: ‘It looks like a minefield’

In Florida, a partial train derailment caused a propane tanker carrying 30,000 gallons of propane to overturn on Tuesday, according to WFLA-TV.

Six train cars derailed and overturned in an industrial area near the Sarasota-Manatee county line. Five of the train cars were carrying drywall, and one car was carrying thousands of gallons of propane. A seventh train car also carrying propane derailed but did not flip over.

No injuries were reported, and people in the area have not been evacuated.

Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue Chief Robert Bounds described the scene to WFLA.

“It looks like a minefield, honestly,” Bounds stated. “The cars are on their side. [The train] was in motion when it happened, so it wasn’t just a tip-over, they really dug in and the tracks are pulled up and torn up.”

Bounds reported that the turned-over propane tanker stayed intact and did not show signs of any leaking. However, he noted that to put the derailed cars upright and move the train, the propane would probably need to be siphoned out of the tanker. During that process, individuals in the surrounding area will likely be evacuated.

“As of right now, there is no real emergency. We’re standing by in the event that there becomes one,” Bounds explained. “Right now, the tanks are all sealed, they’re not leaking, there’s no evidence of any damage to them that would cause a leak, so we’re just monitoring the situation.”

Bounds noted that hazmat crews are using infrared cameras and drones to monitor the area.

“The real potential will be when they come to offload the product. That will be when we really have to monitor the situation very closely to ensure there’s no actual leakage,” he added.

Bounds reported that moving the train and fixing the broken and torn-up train tracks could take one to three days.

At this time, the cause of the partial derailment is still under investigation.

“It just appears that, for all intents and purposes, it was an accident,” Bounds stated.

During a public meeting on Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge described the derailment as “pretty significant,” the Bradenton Herald reported.

“It will be multiple days before the tracks are cleared,” he stated.


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