Over 13,000 gallons of 93% sulfuric acid spilled into the international tunnel in Port Huron, MI following a 40 car derailment on Friday morning. One of the cars carrying sulfuric acid was punctured during the derailment and the entire contents of the car emptied into the tunnel. Crews on both sides of the St. Clair River along with CN Railway have been working throughout the weekend to cleanup the acid but were slowed down by storms in the area.
The National Transportation Safety Board deployed three investigators to help determine the point of derailment. Officials have now ruled the accident occured on the Sarnia, Ontario side of the river. NTSB spokesman, Keith Holloway, stated that while they were not the leading investigators on the scene “We’re gathering information. It can take 12 to 18 months before we determine a cause. This is just the early days of an investigation. (It is) very methodical and precise.”
Officials maintain there is no threat to the public or the river at this time. Kris Morris, the public information officer for St. Clair County, said the road and tunnel closings will remain in effect until the Environmental Protection Agency deems it safe to open. “They keep evaluating the situation and monitoring, and when they get a better idea of the situation, we’ll send out another notice. We have no idea when it will cease. There’s no projection at this point. So, until all of that is done, it’s my understanding that the road will remain off limits.”
Officials staying mum during train derailment, spill investigation