Major derailment and explosion abroad – 25 homes burned

Repost from Kyev Post

Oil spill in Cherkasy Oblast (near Kiev, Ukraine)

Aug. 22, 2014

Fire is seen at Horodyshche railway station in Cherkasy Oblast after oil spilled in the morning of Aug. 22 caused by 20 oil tanker cars derailing, 11 of which caught on fire. | Photo by Olena Goncharova ©

A train carrying 35 tanks through Horodyshche in Cherkasy Oblast derailed triggering a major oil spill, with 11 tanks catching on fire.

The spill was discovered at 6:35 a.m., reports the State Emergencies Service. Crews cleaned up over 1,250 square meters of the territory and extinguished the fire by 11 a.m. with the help of 230 local emergency personnel and members of Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service.

Horodysche, home to 14,480 residents, was on high alert in the morning as the fire spread to neighboring houses near the railway station. Around five fire units were sent to Horodyshche, located some 142 km from Kyiv, from the neighboring Kirovohrad Oblast to extinguish it. Electricity and gas supply were cut in the morning of Aug. 22.

No casualties were reported from the site, according to local officials. “Around 25 houses were burnt. No injuries are reported,” Mykola Dudnyk, the head of local city council administration told 112 Channel.

While the investigation is underway, it’s unlikely the catastrophe would cause significant penalties for responsible companies or make it to the top ecological inspections.

Several similar accidents in the past did not lead to any major court cases, despite the ecological harm. For instance, British Petroleum oil giant paid as much as $40 billion in fines for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, when more than 200 million gallons of crude oil pumped into water.

The sum included cleanup costs, and settlements as well as an additional $16 billion due to the Clean Water Act. The company also owed around $4.5 billion in penalties to the U.S. government.