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IOWA CITY, IA – A railroad worker was injured following a report of a possible chemical chemical leak from a rail car in Iowa City, IA on September 22, 2011.

A Johnson County Hazardous Materials Response Team vehicle outside the Iowa Interstate rail yard in Iowa City, IA after one railroad worker was injured following a strong odor that was detected near two rail cars. Photo credit: Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa City is located in Johnson County, Iowa in the eastern part of the state about 28 miles southeast of Cedar Rapids, and about 90 miles southeast of Cedar Falls.

Railroad workers complained of a strong odor coming from a rail car at the Iowa Interstate rail yard. One railroad worker was taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. According to the Iowa City Fire Chief, the railroad worker “was exhibiting symptoms of possibly being exposed.”

Map showing location of rail yard in Iowa City, IA where one railroad worker was injured and transported to the hospital after a strong odor was detected near two rail cars thought to contain chlorosulfonic acid.

Five more railroad workers were treated at the scene, but were not transported to the hospital.

The incident occurred around 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2011 when it was suspected that there was a leaky rail car.

Judging from the strong odor, railroad employees suspected that it was chlorosulfonic acid that was leaking. The odor was coming from two rail cars that were parked in the rail yard.

A Johnson County Hazmat team was called in. An emrgency team was also called in from Proctor and Gamble, the company that was the destination of the rail cars.

Railroad workers were evacuated from the rail yard and allowed to return after about 2 hours.

The cars were examined and the team found no leaks and the valves or seals were found to be intact.

For about 3 hours, streets just south of the rail yard were blocked with emergency vehicles from the Iowa City Police and Fire Departments and the Johnson County Hazmat team and ambulance service.

Fortunately, this incident was not more serious. If there was a large leak of a chemical such as chlorosulfonic acid, it could have been a disaster.

FELA Lawyer News Blog is a FELA, train accident and personal injury blog that publishes up to date train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States. The Federal Employers ‘Liability Act, (FELA) allows injured railroad workers to recover compensation based on the negligence of the railroad company, in lieu of workers’ compensation. FELA defines negligence as the railroad company’s failure to use reasonable care.

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