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KANSAS CITY, MO – Two railroad workers were injured in a Kansas City, MO rail yard and were taken to the hospital on Monday, January 2, 2012 following a suspected chemical leak.

Kansas City, MO Hazmat personnel check out report of a suspected chemical leak that sent two railroad workers to the hospital on Monday, January 2, 2012.

Kansas City is located in Jackson County, Missouri plus parts of Clay County, Cass County, and Platte County, Missouri. Kansas City is about 149 miles northwest of Jefferson City, 126 miles northwest of Columbia, 20 miles northwest of Lee’s Summit and 9 1/2 miles west of Independence.

The incident occurred on Monday just before noon in Jackson County in a Kansas City rail yard south of the Missouri River between Nicholson Ave and Guinotte Ave.

Map showing location where two railroad workers were injured from a suspected chemical leak in a rail yard between Nicholson Ave and Guinotte Ave in Kansas City, MO.

Two railroad workers were injured following a suspected hazardous materials leak and were taken to North Kansas City Hospital after inhaling what may have been a dangerous chemical.

There are no details available as to the condition of the two injured railroad workers. It was reported that they were most likely treated and released and that their injuries were minor.

Hazardous Materials personnel were dispatched to the area. Although there were no evacuations ordered, access to the parts of East Bottoms were closed off and residents were told to shelter in place and keep their windows and doors closed until it was determined that it was safe.

Hazmat crews found no leaks and returned later with fresh oxygen tanks for a second attempt to locate the leak. It was suspected that a rail car containing hydrogen chloride was the cause of the problem.

The rail car was checked and the Hazmat crews found no evidence of any leaks. By 2:00 p.m. it was announced that nothing suspicious had been found.

The fire department is looking at the possibility that the rail tanker may have been overfilled and the chemical expanded due to the heat of the morning sun and may have caused a relief valve to release some of the chemical.

An article in the Kansas City Fox 4 News website reported on the story:

A HazMat team then approached the rail car with oxygen masks and thermal imaging cameras, but didn’t detect any gas or substance. Smoky Dyer, Kansas City Fire Chief, said it’s possible the car filled with the gas but then released pressure, causing the gas to dissipate and become undetectable.

Chouteau Trafficway was temporarily shut down between East Front Street and St. John Avenue as a precaution due to the possibility of fumes being carried by the wind.

The cause of the mishap is not known at this time but is currently under investigation.

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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