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STARS HazMat Chronicle

August 24, 2021: Cell Phone Fire Forces Flight to Evacuate

An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to evacuate after a passenger’s cell phone caught fire in the cabin. Flight 751 was carrying 128 passengers and 6 crew members. It landed at Sea-Tac Airport.
There were no major injuries. As a result of the hazy conditions in the cabin, the emergency slides were deployed. The crew was able to extinguish the fire by placing the phone in a battery containment bag.

Passenger’s cell phone catches fire after Alaska Airlines flight landed at Sea-Tac

August 20, 2021: Derailment Knocks Out Power for Residents in Shelby County, IN

Photo by Janet Hallgarth

A mixed freight train derailed in Fountaintown, Indiana on Thursday. A total of 14 cars left the track. The derailment has left 427 customers without power. CSX and Duke Energy are working to restore the power as quickly as possible.
Rita Reith, Battalion Chief for the Indianapolis Fire Department, stated “Hazardous materials crews got on scene and discovered there were no actual hazardous materials leaking from any of the cars that had derailed. The only two items that were leaking were some used cooking oil that was leaking from one of the cars and some plastic pellets.”
A total of twenty homes were evacuated as a precaution. Reith said “They did not know what they had at the time. But there were no injuries, no loss of life, and nothing was harmed except for the track itself.”
According to CSX, the impact of the crash pushed 100 feet of rails off the ground. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

Several detours in place in Shelby County after a train derailed near Fountaintown

August 16, 2021: Freight Train Derailed in Washington County, GA

Photo by: 13 WMAZ

Norfolk Southern spent several days cleaning up a derailment in Washington County, Ga this week. On Monday morning, 32 cars derailed on their way to South Carolina. Crews worked around the clock clearing the derailed cars and laying new tracks.
Local resident, Farris Tompkins, said “It was pretty loud. I knew when I first heard it it was probably a derailment because nothing would make that much noise and it was pretty loud and then it got real quiet. There was cars on top of cars for probably about 150 yards.”
The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation. According to Norfolk Southern, no hazardous materials were involved and no injuries were reported.

‘Cars on top of cars’: Train derailment jolts people awake in Washington County

August 18, 2021: Two Groups of Doctors and Nurses Put up Billboards in B.C. Warning People About the Dangers of Liquified Natural Gas

Photo: Dr. Melissa Lem

Two groups of Canadian medical professionals purchased billboards to warn people about the dangerous impacts of natural gas and fracking.

The group states “During the extraction and transportation processes, fracking and its infrastructure also pollute the air, land and water in the Peace region, use vast quantities of freshwater, overtake B.C.’s valuable farmland and worsen the health of families, farmers and Indigenous peoples locally and downstream. [Liquified natural gas] is an outsized climate-change culprit.”

The billboards, located near the BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen terminal, are part of the Unnatural Gas Campaign. The Unnatural Gas Campaign is seeking, in part, a moratorium on fracking expansion and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.

Dr. Kevin Liang, of the University of British Columbia, said “Natural gas has significant health impacts for those living close by the wells and for our global environment. [The concern] comes from seeing our patients being affected by climate change every single day.”

Doctors, nurses post billboards near B.C. ferry terminal to warn of harmful impacts of liquefied natural gas

August 13, 2021: Two CP Freight Trains Collide in Calgary

Two Canadian Pacific freight trains collided in Calgary on Wednesday evening. During the derailment, around 19,000 liters (5,019 gallons) of diesel fuel spilled. Man-made berms prevented the fuel from reaching the nearby canal. A two-man crew was operating one of the trains. The other train involved was being remote controlled.

The TS stated “A CP assignment was proceeding westward when it collided head-on with a remote-controlled locomotive system assignment. Two locomotives and seven rail cars derailed. One locomotive leaked an unknown amount of diesel fuel.”

The press secretary for Minister Jason Nixon said the derailment “had no impacts to waterways or a nearby City of Calgary storm sewer. However, a section of the Western Irrigation Canal.” The canal is approximately 50 feet from the released diesel. The canal did require protection from the released fuel but those efforts were completed by morning. The clean-up efforts for the spilled grain will be completed later today.

About 19,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled in southeast Calgary train derailment: fire department