A tanker carrying propane crashed near the airport
SARASOTA, FL. – Officials are investigating a train derailment in Florida Tuesday and a tanker carrying thousands of gallons of propane that spilled, the latest after a derailment was reported earlier this month in East Palestine, Ohio.
Seminole Bay Railroad The train derailed near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, and fire and rescue officials said no injuries were reported and no evidence of a leak was reported at the site.
South Manatee Fire Chief Robert Bounds told the Bradenton Herald that six trailers were overturned, including one carrying 30,000 gallons of propane. Another propane derailed but did not overturn.
Bounds said the freight train was also understaffed, the newspaper reported. Manatee County Emergency Medical Services and Sheriff’s Office personnel were dispatched to help clear the roads.
The crash comes less than a month after a train derailment in Ohio spewed toxic chemicals into the air and water, prompting federal authorities to call for increased oversight of the cleanup amid growing national concerns about train safety.
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What did the rescuers find?
Two of the vehicles were carrying propane and four were carrying drywall, Bones said.
Clearing the tracks may take some time because the propane must be removed from the tanker before it can be moved, according to Bounds. The Bradenton Herald reported that the massive damage from the accident could put the rail line out of service for several days.
“We are proud of our first responders,” said Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge. “Their quick action helped keep our citizens safe and secure.”
Could there be other train wrecks?
Professionals and government officials longer trains with increased equipment, layoffs, and railroad companies’ refusal to comply with safety regulations have reduced train safety.
Other rail accidents could be caused by potential equipment failures and a lack of railroad workers to provide service, industry experts said. Intense industry lobbying has also restricted safety regulations on trains in an effort to cut costs.
The derailment near Sarasota joins train derailments across the country this month:
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 1,000 trains derail in the United States each year. According to a USA TODAY analysis, train accidents that release hazardous materials are rare.
The same USA TODAY analysis found that hazardous materials violations detected during shipper and rail operator inspections are on the rise. Over the past five years, federal inspections of shippers and rail operators have reported 36% more hazardous materials violations than the previous five years.
Contributors: Jaime Frazier, Tami Abdullah, Orlando Mayorkin, Chandra Fleming and Sarah Bowman, USA TODAY NETWORK
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