Tanker derailment in NJ blamed on bridge failure
By GEOFF MULVIHILL Associated Press November 30, 2012 11:18AM
An official stands by derailed freight train tank cars in Paulsboro, N.J., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. People in three southern New Jersey towns were told Friday to stay inside after a freight train derailed and several tanker cars carrying hazardous materials toppled from a bridge and into a creek. At least one tanker car may contain vinyl chloride, Gloucester County Emergency Management director J. Thomas Butts told WPVI-TV. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Updated: November 30, 2012 10:26PM
PAULSBORO, N.J. — New Jersey authorities are blaming the failure of an old-style swing rail bridge for a freight train derailment that sent at least two cars into a creek and caused a leak of hazardous gas.
More than a dozen people reported breathing problems after the accident in Paulsboro early Friday morning and were being examined at a hospital.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who is serving as spokesman for the town, says the rail bridge apparently buckled, just as it did during a derailment in 2009. The bridge was rebuilt in 2010.
State environmental officials say only one of the cars leaked any gas. It was carrying vinyl chloride and all if it has since dissipated into the air. At high levels of exposure it can cause breathing problems, dizziness and nausea.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to the scene.