Tremendous Progress at Derailment Site: Coast Guard

The Coast Guard says before people return, they will monitor the air inside homes that were evacuated

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    NEWSLETTERS

    All of the vinyl chloride has been removed from inside the submerged train tanker. U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan and Rob Andrews said Thursday that they want all the facts behind what led to the derailment. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports. (Published Thursday, Dec 6, 2012)

    The Coast Guard says they are making tremendous progress clearing the scene of last Friday's train derailment in Paulsboro.

    While they can't say for sure when people will be allowed back inside their homes, they assure residents that they are moving "swiftly and purposefully" to make that happen.

    At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Coast Guard Captain Kathy Moore updated the public on their progress. She said they began adding acetone into the breached tank on Wednesday to neutralize the vinyl chloride. A total of 3,000 gallons of acetone were used and the mixture has now been pumped out of the rail car.

    The Coast Guard steam-cleaned the air for around 12 hours. Capt. Moore says the conditions are increasingly safe.

    "For the past 46 hours we have not detected vinyl chloride at the site and we have no detections of vinyl chloride in the community," said Capt. Moore.

    The Coast Guard says before people can head home, they need to set in place a process to monitor the air inside the evacuated homes. If any traces of vinyl chloride is detected, those homes will then be ventilated.

    Early Thursday, U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan, Rob Andrews and Frank LoBiondo were briefed on the cleanup efforts and spoke about the investigation being conducted by the Coast Guard and NTSB.

    "I think red lights mean stop," said Rep. Andrews. "And one of the main questions here is why there is ever a protocol in place when a conductor sees a red light on a bridge and moves forward." 

     


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