A train collided with a truck carrying hydrochloric acid in Centerville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday morning.
Water Supply Threatened
The collision happened around 10:30 a.m.at the Route 88 and Maple Glenn Road when a train broadsided a tanker truck hauling hydrochloric acid as the truck crossed the railroad tracks. The tanker truck was dragged about 100 yards.
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) March 6, 2018
Witness John Mowry told the Observer-Reporter, “The whole valley filled up with vapors… The street is bubbling.”
Hazmat crews were sent to the crash scene and are working to stop 4,400 gallons of hydrochloric acid from reaching the nearby Monongahela River. Emergency officials evacuated several nearby homes as a result of the chemical spill and are considering evacuating more if deemed.
An unknown amount of diesel fuel being hauled by the train has spilled onto the ground.
Aerial footage shows scene after train strikes tanker truck hauling more than 44,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid in Pennsylvania; several people are being treated for exposure, and about 15 residents are being evacuated to a local fire station. pic.twitter.com/Q01eFJlt3x
— ABC News (@ABC) March 6, 2018
Medevac transported the truck driver to a Pittsburgh hospital and his condition is still unknown. Two others were taken to area hospitals and eight more were treated at the scene, all for exposure to the acid.
Windy conditions spread clouds of acid making it difficult for rescue crews to initially get to the driver.
Officials said the train pushed the semi truck 100 yards down the tracks and stated that the cause of the crash was unclear.
The Mon Line where the crash happened is owned by Norfolk Southern. The freight trains coal cars were empty.
State Environmental Agents Sent
The state Department of Environmental Protection sent several crew members to the scene, and was working with the Fish and Boat Commission to monitor the Monongahela River and downstream area for pH levels. Water companies that take water from the river downstream have been notified, a DEP press release said.
Gov. Tom Wolf said state agencies are working with local personnel.
“The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is engaged and working with county emergency personnel to ensure the continued safety of residents in the area,” he said in a statement. “I am in contact with PEMA and the Department of Environmental Protection and we are closely monitoring the situation. We will continue to update the public in that area as responders work to secure the situaion.”
Stay up to date on the train verses tanker truck crash in Centerville at this link: https://t.co/atNhk1Ibbv
— Scott Beveridge (@S_Beveridge) March 6, 2018