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Chemical Accident - USA

GLIDE CODE: CH-20060707-6699-USA
Date & Time: 2006.07.07 - 19:46:56
Area: USA Mississippi, , Petal ( MAP)


As many as 180 people were evacuated from their homes early today as first responders fought to contain a liquid petroleum leak in Petal. Leeville Road and U.S. 11 were blocked off from about 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., Mayor Carl Scott said. But he and fire Chief Richard Bryant said the area is now completely safe.A rail car taking on a load of liquid petroleum at Enterprise Products Operating gasoline storage apparently had a puncture at its bottom, Scott said. “What leaked out caused the vapor to expand across the ground,” he said. The 7,500-gallon capacity rail car only lost about 50 or 60 gallons, Bryant said. But liquid petroleum expands quickly when outside a pressurized container, and eventually covered as much as 1,800 cubic feet. The Petal and Hattiesburg fire departments responded to the spill, carefully removing the rest of the leaky rail car’s cargo and safely burning it off. Neither Scott nor Bryant knew the name of the railway company. “The! expansion ratio on (liquid petroleum) is 270 to one, so a little bit can turn into a whole lot quick,” Bryant said. The evacuees were taken to the Petal Civic Center during containment and clean-up, he said. “We know it’s an inconvenience at 2:45 in the morning, but we’d rather inconvenience them than have to go rescue them,” Bryant said. Check this site for further details and tomorrow's print edition of the Hattiesburg American.

Damage level: Moderate