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Union Pacific Railroad

OMAHA, NE -  An agreement was struck between the Federal government and the Union Pacific railroad over a 2004 train derailment near San Antonio, Texas in Southwest Bexar County.

The company agreed to pay $581,855 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for that agency’s response to the incident that released 60 tons of chlorine gas.

The deal was formalized in a lawsuit the Justice Department filed on Friday, April 2, 2010.

On June 28, 2004, a 123-car Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) train was struck from behind by a 74-car Union Pacific (UP) train in Macdona, southwest of San Antonio. Chlorine gas spread to nearby homes from a punctured tank car on the UP train.

In the incident, the UP freight train was traveling westbound about 45 mph when it struck the side of a freight car of an eastbound BNSF Company train. 

A small fire resulted, and a loaded tank car on the UP train was breached, which resulted in the release of toxic chlorine gas.

The crash killed four people and injured 50 others. Investigators found a railroad employee, the UP engineer, to be at fault for ignoring a stop signal. The railroad worker died in the crash.

The area was evacuated within a two-mile radius of the derailment. Each train crew consisted of an engineer and conductor. More than 40 people were transported to area hospitals for treatment, including the UP engineer, firefighters and residents. Preliminary estimates of property damages and environmental clean-up costs were more than $7 million.

Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, are top nationwide FELA lawyers representing railroad workers injured on the job who need experienced attorneys knowledgeable in the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA is not workers compensation and it governs the employee’s right to recovery, governing the rights and remedies of railroad employees. For more information about FELA, TX FELA Law, and FELA rights, contact an experienced FELA lawyer through Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. For expert advice, call 800.773.6770.

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