Home | About | Donate

Fiery Derailment of Train Carrying Toxic Gas Sparks Evacuation of 5,000


Fiery Derailment of Train Carrying Toxic Gas Sparks Evacuation of 5,000

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

This story may be updated...

The derailment on Thursday of a train carrying a flammable, toxic gas near Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday has forced the evacuation of roughly 5,000 people.

Local news WSMV reported Thursday morning that a "frantic cleanup effort" was ongoing. The flames will be allowed to burn out.


My heart and prayers go out to the residents of that town, and those of every other place where trains and pipelines are spewing poison. And to the birds and the animals and the waters that will be poisoned too. How much more evidence do we need of our criminal behaviour as a society?


Could Ms. Germanos at least provide the name of the what the “flammable, toxic gas”?


Sorry, somehow I overlooked it - acrylonitrile.

The main hazard is that it produces cyanide when it burns.


Years ago, when Teflon was used on many cooking products, sometimes people would get sick when the skillet would get too hot. I worked a famous fast food place, and we had some newer equipment which used sheets of Teflon to guard the cooking surface. A thermostat failed, and about 15 people started getting sick. It turned out that Teflon was discovered at DuPont, when people were working with phosgene gas. Phosgene, of course, was one of the “weapons” banned by the Geneva Conventions. When Teflon got too hot, well, phosgene was produced. Teflon, I think, was reformulated. Tank cars, however, transport many outright toxic substances; some “safe” products produce poison byproducts when burned. There may be more definite action on freight trains, if a “poisonous pipeline” should pop in an affluent suburb…


" I hear the bomb train comin’, it’ll never make the bend, And, we won’t see the sunlight ‘til I don’t know when. But, we’re stuck in Austerity Prison and time keeps draggin’ on, But those trains just keep on tippin; 'til hell and gone. "


Judging from US voters’ track record, a cloud of nitrous oxide must be enveloping most of the US during election years,


Actually, the evidence is that our worse criminals are at the top.


Yunzer wrote:

'Sorry, somehow I overlooked it - acrylonitrile.

‘The main hazard is that it produces cyanide when it burns.’

Just to clarify. A cyanide is a salt of hydrocyanic acid.Sodium cyanide is an inorganic salt of the acid. Acrylonitrile is another name for methyl cyanide, an organic salt of the acid.


Twenty-seven of the train cars were carrying acrylonitrile, which the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable human carcinogen. said the article.