Category Archives: Diesel fuel

LATEST DERAILMENT: Diesel fuel leak in heart of Toronto, no injuries

Repost from the Toronto Star

Freight train derailment a ‘wake-up call’ on rail safety, councillor says

Human error blamed for freight train derailment in heart of the city after a Canadian Pacific Railway train collided with another on Sunday morning.
By Ebyan Abdigir, Aug. 21, 2016
A CP Railway freight train derailed near Bathurst and Dupont Sts., early Sunday after two trains collided, causing a diesel fuel spill. CP blames human error for the collision.
A CP Railway freight train derailed near Bathurst and Dupont Sts., early Sunday after two trains collided, causing a diesel fuel spill. CP blames human error for the collision. (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR)

Human error is being blamed for a freight train derailment in the heart of Toronto Sunday morning that had crews scrambling to contain a diesel fuel leak.

The derailment happened after a train struck the tail of another train at about 5:20 a.m. near Dupont and Bathurst Sts., Canadian Pacific Railway spokesperson Martin Cej told the Star.

No one was injured in the collision and subsequent derailment and the diesel fuel leak, which Toronto police said had not been a threat to public safety, was quickly contained.

Cej said that one car was carrying batteries and aerosols, which are classified as “dangerous goods” under Canadian regulation, but they did not leak, he confirmed.

City councillor Josh Matlow raised new concerns Sunday about freight trains running through densely populated neighbourhoods.

A CN train derailed near Bridgeman and Howland Aves., East of Bathurst and Dupont Sts.
A CN train derailed near Bridgeman and Howland Aves., East of Bathurst and Dupont Sts.  (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE) 

“While it was incredibly fortunate no one was hurt today, this derailment should act as a wake-up call for the federal government to move swiftly on rail safety,” he said.

This spring, Mayor John Tory, Matlow and 16 other councillors whose wards are nestled by rail lines, signed a letter sent to Marc Garneau, the federal Transport Minister, calling for better rail safety.

The 2016 federal budget allocated $143 million to be used over three years to improve rail safety.

Cej said “early indications” point to human error as the cause of Sunday’s collision and derailment and that equipment failure was not a factor.

Bartlett Ave., north of Dupont, was closed while police and rail officials investigated the incident.

A crowd gathers near where a CP Railway train derailed near Bathurst and Dupont Sts. on Sunday morning.
A crowd gathers near where a CP Railway train derailed near Bathurst and Dupont Sts. on Sunday morning.   (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE)

Although there were no dangerous goods on board either train Sunday, roughly 9 per cent of goods transported by CP in Ontario are regulated dangerous goods, according to a disclosure to Transport Canada for 2015.

A 2014 investigation by Star reporter Jessica McDiarmid monitored CP’s rail line that crosses Barlett Ave. on its way to Dupont St. in the Junction before it goes northward, west of the Don Valley.

Between two 12-hour shifts, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the Star found that more than 130 cars and tanks carried dangerous goods such as crude oil, methyl bromide and ethyl trichlorosilane, and more.

A little over three years ago, a train hauling 72 cars of crude oil, derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Que. It resulted in an inferno that killed 47 people, and spilled six million litres of crude.

Since the 2013 Lac-Mégantic disaster, rail companies are required to provide information to municipalities for emergency planning, however, under strict confidentiality agreements. Canada’s largest railroads already did this upon request.

In February 2015, the federal government introduced a bill that increased the amount of insurance railways must carry to cover costs in the event of a derailment.

A worker grabs hold of the railing of a derailed CN engine near Bridgeman and Howland Aves. on August 21.
A worker grabs hold of the railing of a derailed CN engine near Bridgeman and Howland Aves. on August 21.  (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE) 

With files from Fakiha Baig and Star Staff

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    Explosion rocks refinery in Texas, injuring one

    Repost from ABC13 KTRK-TV, Houston TX

    Explosion rocks refinery in Pasadena, injuring one

    By Deborah Wrigley, Saturday, March 05, 2016 11:06PM


    PASADENA, TX (KTRK) — One person was burned after an explosion at a Pasadena refinery Saturday morning.

    Officials at Pasadena Refining Systems, Inc., say the fire began around 10:15am at their refinery off SH 225 and Lawndale Street.

    The victim suffered burns to his hands.

    Residents in the area told abc13 they felt a powerful blast right before flames began to rise from the plant.

    A spokesperson says it all started with an issue involving a compressor. A fire quickly broke out, with burning diesel fuel sending huge plumes of black smoke into the air.

    The refinery has their own firefighters, who were able to put out the blaze. Pasadena Police and fire are on standby to assist. The fire was able to be contained and air monitoring indicated no issues.

    Drivers and bystanders tell Eyewitness News they could see the smoke miles away from the site of the fire.

    The Washburn tunnel was closed by authorities after the explosion.

    Viewer photo from the explosion at Pasadena Refining System off SH 225
    Viewer photo from the explosion at Pasadena Refining System off SH 225.

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant has a history of ‘significant violations’ of the U.S. Clean Air Act, and was assessed $1,143,000 in fines because of these violations.

    A complaint was filed against the company for failure to follow regulations in connection with the storage of a motor vehicle and engine fuels. The company also paid $2,000 in fines for this in August 2014.

    The plant is known to store several chemicals, including Ammonia, Benzene, Ethylene, Hydrogen Cyanide, N-Hexane, Propylene, and Sulfuric Acid.

    According to the EPA, there are 20,901 households in the area around the plant, and 24,484 children also live in the area.

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