This time it was not oil, but a chemical spill as 12 cars from a BNSF train derailed near Valley Mills, TX, Saturday.
The next day, crews started to clean up the industrial solvent that leaked from one of the tankers, said Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson.
No injuries or fires resulted from the derailment Saturday evening, Wilson said.
Residents of about four homes ended up evacuated as a precaution, but returned home at 9 p.m. Saturday.
A hazardous materials team was working on the cleanup Sunday, Wilson said. The derailed cars are off the track and crews were repairing the damaged track and a bridge.
The cleanup will wrap up when conditions are drier, officials said.
First responders first thought methanol was leaking from one car after the derailment, but later determined the chemical was dimethylformamide, which can cause nausea and vomiting if inhaled.
About 7,000 gallons of the flammable liquid spilled, but it has been contained and poses no threat, BNSF Railway spokesman Joe Faust said Sunday.
The cleanup should be finished by late Sunday night, he said.
The cause of the derailment has not been determined. Heavy rain Saturday night made it difficult for crews to reach the scene, Wilson said.
The 12 cars left the tracks and overturned at around 5 p.m. Saturday. Five of the cars were carrying what authorities said was methanol, a type of alcohol that can be dangerous if ingested. Seven other cars were carrying oil-well pipes that spilled all over the tracks.
One person died and two suffered injuries Sunday night after a mine roof collapsed in Marshall County, WV, officials said.
Emergency crews got the call around 8:50 p.m. to the scene of a roof collapse at the Cameron Portal of a Murray Energy coal mine, said Tom Hart, emergency management director for Marshall County. Crews arrived to find three injured workers other mine workers pulled to safety.
One of the victims eventually died, Hart said. Rescue personnel flew another to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. The third went via ambulance to Wheeling Hospital. Officials have not yet released the names of the victims.
Other than the three victims of the incident, all other miners ended up accounted for. Murray Energy along with state and federal officials will start an investigation into the incident, Hart said.
Murray Energy and its subsidiary companies operate more than a dozen active coal mines in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Utah and Illinois.
Murray Energy released a brief statement saying “an accident” had occurred at the company’s Marshall County mine. The statement said details about the incident weren’t immediately clear.
Two miners died in May at a mine near Wharton, WV, while engaged in “retreat mining,” a process called one of the most dangerous forms of coal mining.
Carbon monoxide was in the air and over 100 firefighters from the Fitchburg, WI, area responded to the hazardous material call at a plastics company’s production building, officials said.
After an employee showed signs of carbon monoxide poisoning at the EcoStar facility in Fitchburg, firefighters got the call, said Fitchburg fire Deputy Chief Rich Roth.
Firefighters confirmed high Carbon monoxide (CO) levels inside the building and the department followed protocol and contacted the Madison Hazardous Incident Team, or HIT, Roth said. The National Guard’s 54th Civil Support Team in Madison also responded with its chemical biological monitoring team.
The teams determined there was a chemical reaction happening in a pellet storage bin in the EcoStar building’s production area, Roth said. EcoStar recycles used plastics into plastic sheets sold commercially, according to the company website.
To reduce the CO in the building to a safe level, firefighters, HIT and guard members had to remove about 7,000 pounds of plastic pellets from a large storage bin by hand, Roth said. To tackle the task, hazmat response rotated in shifts for about 17 hours through Friday night and Saturday morning.
Roth estimated about 120 fire and EMS personnel took part in the large-scale, labor-intensive operation overnight.
“We never had to strip fire and EMS protection from another area,” Roth said. “We’d leap frog communities so that we didn’t get everybody right closest to the scene and not leave people unprotected.”
The building was cleared of the hazardous material and turned over to EcoStar managers at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Roth said.
EcoStar and its parent company, Placon, officials were not immediately available.
Eight people ended up treated for chemical inhalation and skin irritation following a fire at the Warsaw Chemical Company on Friday, official said.
A fire at the plant followed by an explosion caused tanks to rupture, leaking chemicals into storm drains and Winona Lake, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Eight people ended up treated at Kosciusko Community Hospital for chemical inhalation and skin irritation. One plant employee suffered burns on his hands, officials said.
Crews with Environmental Remediation Services of Fort Wayne were on scene late Friday night and early Saturday morning, Feb. 7, treating the area after thousands of gallons of chemicals — mostly menthol — mixed into the water and snow in the surrounding area, conservation officer Jerry Hoerdt said.
“We are trying to re-oxygenate the water,” he said Saturday morning. “Thankfully, we have not seen any fish or wildlife in the area that have been affected, but we are monitoring that.”
The cause of the fire is still unknown and will be until emergency workers can clean up the chemicals from the area, Lt. Kip Shuter of the Warsaw Police Department said.
An investigation is underway.
A fire broke out at a Marcellus Shale natural gas well pad last Wednesday as the North Strabane Township, PA, drilling operation was just starting up, officials said.
“They were very fortunate last night,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman John Poister.
The DEP was still attempting Thursday to determine how much oil leaked from a hydraulic line and what caused the substance to catch fire at Range Resources’ Jeffries Elisabeth pad off Ross Road.
Regulators also were investigating to determine how much oil leaked from the ruptured line and what the connections were on the pad, Poister said.
“We have a lot of work to do down there,” Poister said.
No one suffered an injury in the fire that began about 5:45 p.m. and spread to plastic sheeting on the well pad at 257 Ross Road.
It was under control within an hour by firefighters using foam and water hauled by tanker trucks to the site from a nearby fire hydrant.
“I can say that the initial fire was small, and the workers attempted to extinguish it with a hand-held unit,” said Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella.
“But the fluid discharged enough, the fire spread and eventually the spill liner ignited,” he said. “That’s why there was a lot of smoke. It would be similar to a tire burning.”
Washington County Public Safety Director Jeff Yates said a small amount of low-pressure natural gas was escaping at the time into the atmosphere at the site, and that it could have fueled some of the flames.
“The rig was on fire. A couple of trailers were on fire,” Yates said.
Township fire Chief Mark Grimm said the blaze destroyed the drilling rig.
Range’s safety liaison for the township, Hugh White, also was with the chief and county public safety workers to help with the emergency at the command center, which was about 2,000 feet away from the center of the fire, Grimm said.
“It definitely was a concern for us from the start, but having a Range person there at the command post, we were confident there was nothing coming out of it,” Grimm said. “Our action plan was in effect, and that’s why you need to take time to (train) so when it does happen you’re not behind the eight ball.”
Range followed the proper protocol with the township in handling the emergency.
“The biggest issue was for the first few moments getting a water supply,” Grimm said. “Once we did, we could take care of (the fire).”
Range just started drilling at the location, Pitzarella said.
“There are shallow pockets of gas through the Earth’s strata, and we have connected a small burner unit to burn the gas. It operates occasionally as needed,” Pitzarella said.
“This is nothing whatsoever like what you might consider a typical flare or flare stack,” he said.
He said Wednesday’s fire was the first that Range has encountered in the 10 years the Southpointe-based driller has been involved in shale development.
After a substation explosion and fire at the Escanaba Power Plant in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan Monday, power is now back on, officials said.
Power is back in some areas of Delta County in the wake of Monday blackouts after the early morning explosion at the city’s main power plant. Depending on circuit overloads, residents could see rolling blackouts in increments of two hours in Escanaba for up to two days.
The city utilized municipal facilities as warming shelters as temperatures dropped overnight to single digits. With restoring power to residential areas, officials are asking residents to heat their homes then conserve energy to avoid circuit overloads until a new substation can hook up. The process should take between 18 and 24 hours.
Damage assessment is still going on to determine the severity of the fire damage and the cause of the explosion.
Officials said a contracting crew worked throughout the night, and called in experts from around the Midwest to advise and assist. The county is coordinating with its emergency center by declaring a local state of emergency and monitoring critical care units to ensure the least amount of impact to the elderly and other individuals with health concerns.
A replacement substation is coming in from Iron Mountain to replace the damaged equipment. It will take 18 to 24 hours to get it running. Officials said the power outage began at around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. No one suffered any injuries in the fire.