PASCO, WA – According to news reports, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad carrying about 25,000 gallons chemicals, derailed on Sunday, May 15, at around 5:00 p.m. near Pasco, Washington.
BNSF Spokesman Gus Melonas told the media that several freight cars derailed while moving less than 5 mph during a switching operation. Seven cars derailed from the tracks, causing nearly 12,500 gallons of hydrochloric acid onto the ground by 9:30 p.m. No injuries were reported at the time of the incident.
“Experts have determined that there’s no public or environmental threat,” Melonas told The Associated Press.
The chemical can cause respiratory problems and skin and eye irritation.
He said the spill was in a remote area of the yard, far away from any homes or businesses.
The leak was caused when a valve on a tanker car carrying about 25,000 gallons of the chemical was damaged in the derailment.
A hazardous material crew was expected to seal the leak Sunday night. Melonas said the derailed cars would be placed on the track Monday.
He said the incident has not affected operations on the mainline, which handles about 30 trains daily.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
Published by FELA lawyer news blog at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP