Loose bolts cause of acid leak

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 29, 2007

RACELAND, Ky. — Four loose bolts were to blame for the leak of hydrochloric acid from a rail car at the CSX rail yard Monday night .

Dennis “Butch” Bass, director of the Greenup County Emergency Management Agency, said once the bolts were tightened, the problem was abated. He said he is still trying to find out how much acid leaked during the incident and how much acid was in the car to begin with.

“From what I can tell, it was about half full, but I’m still looking into it and CSX is still trying to find out as well,” Bass said.

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Bass said the fault with this and three other recent incidents at the rail yard does not lie with CSX. He said the onus lies with the shippers who are sending the rail cars through the area.

“CSX only handles the cars. The shippers are supposed to inspect their cars and have everything right before they ship it,” Bass said. “They are supposed to sign paperwork that they’ve done what they are supposed to do.”

On Oct. 8 and Oct. 10, emergency officials were called to the rail yard to investigate odd smells emanating from rail cars and on Oct. 12 a loose bolt on a rail car caused a leak.

The rail car that was the focus of this week’s incident was en route from Calvert City, Ky., to Parkersburg, W.Va.

Bass said though precautions were taken, no one was in extreme danger because of the leak. Three CSX employees were treated and released from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

The leak occurred late Monday night. Emergency services workers were on the scene until early Tuesday afternoon.