On Tuesday, a Seminole Gulf Railroad train derailed in Manatee County, Florida, leading to concern over the train’s contents. The derailment involved six train cars, two of which were carrying liquid propane. One of the propane tankers was reportedly carrying a whopping 30,000 gallons of the hazardous substance.
Local authorities were quick to respond to the derailment, which occurred near a highway, prompting road closures. No injuries were reported, but residents in the nearby area were advised to evacuate as a precaution.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has since confirmed that there is currently no imminent danger, and there have not been any leaks.
According to Robert Fay, the vice president of Seminole Gulf Railroad, five of the railcars completely flipped onto their sides, with four of them carrying sheetrock and one containing propane. The sixth car, also a propane tanker, derailed but remained upright.
A spokesperson for Seminole Gulf Railroad says the salvage operation in Florida is expected to take several days. Restoration efforts are scheduled to be completed by March 6, as confirmed by Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Robert Bounds.
According to Chief Bounds, a 100-foot portion of the railroad has been severely damaged, with the tracks being “snapped in half” and uprooted. The derailment caused a domino effect, with one car flipping and pulling the next until the inertia stopped enough for the last car to detach.
🚨#UPDATE: New photos shows a closer view of the train derailment that took place in Manatee county Florida as one of the tankers was carrying over 30,000 gallons of propane. The exact cause on how it derailed is currently under investigation says officials pic.twitter.com/jw8saTSUik
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 28, 2023
While the situation is currently under control, authorities are taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of nearby residents. The incident serves as a reminder of the potential risks and hazards associated with transporting hazardous materials. It is important that all necessary safety measures are taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
The recent train derailment in Florida adds to the growing list of derailments across the United States this month. On February 3, around 50 Norfolk Southern railcars derailed in East Palestine, leading to evacuations as officials decided to conduct a controlled release of hazardous materials to prevent a catastrophic explosion.
Another Norfolk Southern train derailed in Michigan on February 16, with approximately 30 cars derailing around 30 miles west of downtown Detroit.
In yet another incident, more than 25 Union Pacific train cars carrying coal derailed in Nebraska on February 21, with the cause of the derailment still under investigation.