Yourlawyer.com (Anhydrous Ammonia Leak News) http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/anhydrous_ammonia_leak Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:45:42 -0500 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:45:42 -0500 pixel-app en Chemical leak spurs evacuation in Lake City http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/chemical-leak-spurs-evacuation-in-lake-city Sun, 18 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/chemical-leak-spurs-evacuation-in-lake-city
U.S. 61 was closed from Lake City south to Wabasha about 7 a.m., and traffic was rerouted for several hours.

The leaking car was moved three miles south into an unpopulated area, authorities said, but the fumes kept building. The evacuation on the south end of the town on Lake Pepin began about 7:45 a.m., and the fire department and a hazardous-materials team were sent to stop the leak.

Mayor Katie Himanga said nobody was injured or hospitalized.

Most evacuees went to stay with relatives or friends or at an emergency shelter at a local church, though some disabled people were evacuated by ambulance. The evacuation was called off early Saturday afternoon.

Jafar Karim, a spokesman for the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad in Sioux Falls, S.D., said the problem was with a valve on the affected car. He said he did not know the nature of the problem with the valve.

"The actual cause is not yet determined, but we'll be working with others to determine that cause in the coming days," Karim said.

The leaking car was part of an IC&E train operating on Canadian Pacific track. Karim said the car belonged to a customer and IC&E had picked it up Saturday morning from the Canadian Pacific yard in St. Paul.

Eleven of the 37 cars were carrying hazardous materials, such as anhydrous ammonia, Canadian Pacific spokesman Jeff Johnson said. Eighteen cars were loaded; 19 were empty.

One resident told the Red Wing Republican Eagle newspaper she went to let her dog out at 6:30 a.m. and smelled a faint chemical odor. Five minutes later, she went to let her pet back indoors and had to cover her face with her jacket to breathe.

Some residents in southern Lake City complained of feeling sick, and people on the north end of town also reported headaches and nausea, the newspaper reported.

Anhydrous ammonia, which is commonly used as fertilizer, can be extremely toxic and may be fatal if inhaled.

The vapors are irritating and corrosive, according to the federal Emergency Response Guidebook. Symptoms of exposure include a harsh burning sensation in the nose and a bad taste or stinging in the mouth, as well as headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing. The effects of inhalation may be delayed.

Traffic was halted on the Canadian Pacific line, and trains were stopped at Minneiska, Winona and the Twin Cities.]]>
Investigation of chemical leak in Lake City could take days http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/investigation-of-chemical-leak-in-lake-city-could-take-days Sun, 18 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/investigation-of-chemical-leak-in-lake-city-could-take-days
The Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad will work with the Canadian Pacific Railway to determine why a problem developed with a valve on a customer's tanker car that carried 28,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, said Jafar Karim, a spokesman for the IC&E in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Local officials said only a small amount of the ammonia leaked out in Lake City. The noxious fumes forced the evacuation of about 100 homes in the Edge O' Town mobile home park on Hwy. 61 on the south side of Lake City. Authorities said no one was injured.

The Red Cross opened an evacuation center at a Lake City church, where residents forced from their homes spent the day playing games, eating donated meals and waiting for word about when they could return home. Hwy. 61 was reopened about 1 p.m. Saturday and crews gave the all-clear to residents to return home.

Mayor Katie Himanga gave residents of the mobile home park credit for reacting quickly to the evacuation order.

"People were confused," she said. "Some of them were woken up [by the warning]. They may or may not have picked up any of the scent."

The episode put Lake City's emergency response plan to the test, Himanga said, and "the plan worked extremely well."

Ronald Bost, a Red Cross volunteer, said the volunteers had just participated in a training exercise three weeks earlier in Wabasha and were well-prepared for an emergency.]]>
Minnesota train leak leads to evacuations http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/minnesota-train-leak-leads-to-evacuations Sat, 17 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/minnesota-train-leak-leads-to-evacuations Anhydrous ammonia leaked from a railroad tank car Saturday in southeastern Minnesota. The fumes led authorities to evacuate more than 100 people from their homes in Lake City.

There were no reports of injuries.

Authorities say the leaking car was moved three miles south into an unpopulated area. However, the fumes kept building and the evacuation began. Other residents were urged to stay indoors.

A cap on the tanker car apparently failed. Authorities say they had capped the leak by early Saturday afternoon.

Anhydrous ammonia can be extremely toxic and may be fatal if inhaled.

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Anhydrous leak forces evacuations in Lake City http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-leak-forces-evacuations-in-lake-city Sat, 17 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-leak-forces-evacuations-in-lake-city
The evacation began around 7:45 a.m., and evacuees took shelter in First Lutheran Church in Lake City until about 1:30 p.m., when authorities announced that the leak had been contained.

U.S. Highway 61 was closed from Lake City south to Minnesota 42 at Kellogg around 7 a.m. and didn't reopen until after 2 p.m. Not long after the highway reopened, authorities closed it again, this time for a vehicle accident.

The leaking rail car was discovered in Lake City and moved three miles south into an unpopulated area, authorities said, but the fumes kept building.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, a dispatcher with the Wabasha County sheriff's office said. The Lake City fire department and a hazardous materials team from Rochester responded to the scene.

The leaking car was part of a 32-car Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad train operating on Canadian Pacific tracks, according to Jeff Johnson, a Canadian Pacific spokesman. Eleven of the cars in the train were carrying hazardous materials, but only the one tanker was leaking.

Officials told reporters a cap on the tanker car apparently failed.

State, city and railroad officials said the 28,000-gallon tanker is an older model. The ICE crew did not have a replacement cap on board and one wasn't readily available in the area, they said.

One resident told the Red Wing Republican Eagle newspaper she went to let her dog out at 6:30 a.m. and smelled a faint chemical odor. Five minutes later, she went to let her pet back indoors and had to cover her face with her jacket in order to breathe.

Some residents in southern Lake City complained of feeling sick, and people on the north end of the town on Lake Pepin also reported headaches and nausea, the newspaper reported.

Authorities recommended ''sheltering in place'' for residents who weren't evacuated, meaning people were advised to stay in their homes unless instructed otherwise.

Anhydrous ammonia can be extremely toxic and may be fatal if inhaled. The vapors are irritating and corrosive, according to the federal Emergency Response Guidebook. Symptoms of exposure include a harsh burning sensation in the nose, a bad taste or stinging in the mouth, as well as headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing. The effects of inhalation may be delayed.

Ammonia fumes were detected 15 miles to the north in Red Wing, which prompted police there to investigate if the rail car was leaking as it came through that city. But Police Chief Tim Sletten said officers checked the tracks and low-lying areas and found nothing dangerous of 8:30 a.m.

Traffic was halted on the Canadian Pacific line, and trains were stopped at Minneiska, Winona and the Twin Cities.]]>
Anhydrous 'not something to mess around with' http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-not-something-to-mess-around-with Sat, 17 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-not-something-to-mess-around-with
Residents of a Lake City mobile home park evacuated this morning because a nearby train car was leaking anhydrous ammonia, and they moved quickly to get out of harm's way.

"It's something you take very seriously," said Jennifer Meyer, one evacuated resident. About 100 residences in the Edge O' Town development, on U.S. 61 on the south side of Lake City, were evacuated.

Meyer was preparing her children, ages 8 and 3, for an outing with their father when, at 8:30 a.m., a police officer knocked on her door and told Meyer she had to get her family out, right away.

Meyer, once trained as an emergency medical technician, said, "I knew that anhydrous ammonia is not something to mess around with."

She hustled her children out of the house, taking them and her mother, Darlene Reimers, to the Red Cross evacuation site at First Lutheran Church, across U.S. 63 South from The Jewel development.

There, they spent the day playing games, eating donated meals and waiting for word when they could return home.

"They've been very good, very kind to us," Meyer said.

Several area residents including Lake City Mayor Katie Himanga, who lives one-quarter mile away said they couldn't pick up the scent of ammonia after they were warned of the danger.

But some residents in southern Lake City complained of feeling sick, and people on the north end of town also reported headaches and nausea, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reported.

Signs of the ammonia leak seemed to grow more severe the farther north one went. Meyer and Reimers described a neighbor who was driving this morning to work in Red Wing. The neighbor told them the ammonia smell grew strong enough he had to pull the neck of his shirt up over his nose and mouth to breathe.

Another Edge O' Town resident, Newton High, was across town at his job, at Federal Mogul, a machinery plant near the train tracks on the north side of Lake City. At about 6:20 a.m., the plant filled with an ammonia smell, High said.

A supervisor called 911, was informed about the train car and was told to keep workers indoors, High said.

"It was really, really bad (the smell)," he said. One co-worker had breathing problems and was given oxygen.

He was given leave from work to evacuate and be with his family, which includes his wife, five daughters and two disabled parents.

"When I drove back across town, you could see a big cloud of smoke in that direction (south)," High said. "It didn't look like lake fog."

Authorities said they were uncertain whether the ammonia leak would have created a cloud.

Mayor Himanga was alerted to the problem early Saturday morning but couldn't smell ammonia until she'd gotten downtown.

"I've got a pretty good nose," she said. "I didn't pick it up right away."

She gave residents of the mobile home park credit for reacting quickly to the evacuation order.

"People were confused," she said. "Some of them were woken up (by the warning). They may or may not have picked up any of the scent."

No one was reported injured or required medical treatment directly related to the ammonia leak, authorities said.

The episode put Lake City's emergency response plan to the test, Himanga said, and "the plan worked extremely well."]]>
Cause of anhydrous leak still uncertain http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cause-of-anhydrous-leak-still-uncertain Sat, 17 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cause-of-anhydrous-leak-still-uncertain
A 28,000-gallon tanker containing anhydrous ammonia leaked part of its contents as it moved south between Red Wing and Lake City early Saturday. After responders plugged the leak, they attributed the problem to a problem with the cap on the tank.

But Jafar Karim, a spokesman for the IC&E in Sioux Falls, S.D., said the problem was with a valve on the affected car. He said he did not know the nature of the problem with the valve.

"The actual cause is not yet determined, but we'll be working with others to determine that cause in the coming days," Karim said.

IC&E is a sister company of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, which owns the east-west track through Rochester. The two rail companies are owned by Cedar American Rail Holdings, Inc., a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company.

The leaking car was part of an IC&E train operating on Canadian Pacific track. Karim said the car belonged to a customer and that the IC&E had picked it from the CP yard in St. Paul on Saturday morning.

The tanker was part of a 37-car train with two crew members aboard. Neither crew member was injured in the accident.

Karim could not say how the crew members learned of the leak.

It was not yet determined at what point the tanker started leaking its contents, though observers reported the smell of ammonia gas as far north as Red Wing. Karim could not say where the train began its travels on Saturday.

Local safety officials said the tanker lost only a small portion of its contents, but they did not have an exact amount.

Karim said IC&E would be working with others on site, including Canadian Pacific, to determine the cause of the incident.

Besides evacuating homes, the incident stalled traffic on Canadian Pacific's main line. Karim said the tanker car involved in the leak would be moved to a siding track where it could be examined.
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A scary morning in Lake City, then the all-clear to go home http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/a-scary-morning-in-lake-city-then-the-all-clear-to-go-home Sat, 17 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/a-scary-morning-in-lake-city-then-the-all-clear-to-go-home
The evacuees arrived at the Red Cross shelter at a city church, some in a panic.

"Some were confused. Some smelled the gas, some didn't," said Mayor Katie Himanga, who had spoken with residents waiting at First Lutheran Church on the town's west side. "They needed to know what happened."

A 28,000 gallon tanker was leaking the chemical from a faulty cap that prompted the closure of Hwy. 61 for several hours. It took crews until about 12:40 p.m. to seal the cap and give the all-clear, Himanga told reporters at City Hall.

"There were no injuries, and we don't expect any long-term environmental impact," she said.

The plan was to move the tanker onto a side track where the remaining gas, which is used as farm fertilizer, would be transferred to a truck, said Doug Neville of the state Public Safety Department.

Hwy. 61, closed after the leak was discovered about 6:30 a.m., was reopened at 1 p.m. But the southbound railway remained closed, with several trains waiting up the line near Red Wing, at 5:30 p.m. Amtrak trains were rerouted.

The defective car was an older model that was part of a 37-car train owned by the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad, spokesman Jafar Karim said by telephone. He said workers hoped to move the leaky car owned by a railroad customer to a side track by early evening and reopen the southbound lines. He said the car was picked up Saturday morning in St. Paul.

Mayor Himanga said the city's emergency plan worked well, and sirens sounded when the leak was discovered. Several residents said they heard the sirens, which also sound when firefighters are sent out, the mayor said.

One of those evacuated was Jeanette Blethen, who said she was still in a panic when police told her to leave her small home. She scraped enough frost off her car windshield to drive to the Red Cross shelter at First Lutheran.

"I was pretty frantic when I came here," she said, while waiting for the all-clear. "The Red Cross is very hospitable and they did a great job being here to calm you down."

Blethen, 64, who lives about 100 feet from the tracks, said shortly before she heard police knocking on her door, her pet Angel, a tropical bird, started honking like a goose and woke her up about 8 a.m.

"Why did my bird make that noise that I never heard from her before?" she asked. "I said 'Angel are you OK?' And then boom, boom, boom. The police were knocking at the door." When she looked toward the tracks she saw a mist around them and smelled something funny as she left, Blethen said. She closed the house up tight because Angel's cage was too big to get in her car.

After the all-clear, Blethen hurried home.

"Angel is fine. She is her normal self now," she said, the yellow, green and orange bird perched on her shoulder.

Evacuations started about 7:45 a.m. in an area that includes a mobile home park and some businesses along Hwy. 61. Evacuees stayed with relatives or friends, or were taken to the emergency shelter.

The mayor said that only a small amount of the 28,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia leaked from the car.

The leak was detected about 6:30 a.m., and the 37-car train was moved 3 miles south into a less populated area, authorities said, but the fumes kept building.

One resident told the Red Wing Republican Eagle newspaper that she went to let her dog out at 6:30 a.m. and smelled a faint chemical odor. Five minutes later, she went to let the dog back in and had to cover her face with her jacket in order to breathe.

Some residents in southern Lake City complained of feeling sick, and people on the north end of the town on Lake Pepin also reported headaches and nausea, the newspaper reported.

Hwy. 61 was closed from Hwy. 63 in Lake City south to Hwy. 42 in Kellogg.

The tracks are owned by Canadian Pacific. Speaking on behalf of the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad, Canadian Pacific spokesman Jeff Johnson said 11 of the 37 cars were carrying hazardous materials. Nineteen were empty.

Ammonia fumes were detected 15 miles to the north in Red Wing, which prompted police there to investigate if the rail car had been leaking as it came through there. But Police Chief Tim Sletten said officers checked the tracks and low-lying areas and found nothing dangerous.
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Anhydrous ammonia leak contained near Lake City http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-ammonia-leak-contained-near-lake-city Mon, 01 Jan 2007 00:00:00 -0500 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/anhydrous-ammonia-leak-contained-near-lake-city
The Lake City Emergency Operations Center declared a successful conclusion to the incident shortly before 1 p.m. and reopened U.S. Highway 61 by midafternoon.

"We won't know the actual cause and have determine why the valve on that car failed," said Jafar Karim, a Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad spokesman.

The leaking car was part of a southbound IC&E train operating on Canadian Pacific tracks, officials from both railroads said. They will conduct a joint investigation over the next few days.

The tanker carrying the ammonia was an older model that the IC&E train picked up for a customer this morning at the Canadian Pacific yard in St. Paul, Karim said.

The IC&E crew did not have a replacement valve cap onboard and one wasn't readily available in the area, which complicated efforts to stop the leak. But a hazardous chemical team managed to secure the tanker by using a cap designed for a newer tanker, EOC officials said.

There were no immediate reports of anyone injured or hospitalized, a dispatcher with the Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office said.

The leak is believed to have started north of Lake City before dawn.

Lake City Mayor Katie Himanga said one of the first calls came in from the Federal Mogul foundry after the ventilation system pulled in fumes as the train passed. The train continued on for several miles before stopping in a relatively unpopulated area.

When awakened, some residents in south Lake City complained of feeling sick. People living in the Goodhue County or north end of Lake City also reported minor headaches and nausea.

Officials closed Highway 61 around 7 a.m. and moved the train three miles south. But the fumes kept building.

Lake City activated its Emergency Operations Center around 7:30 a.m. so firefighters, police and ambulance personnel could begin an orderly evacuation of homes in the southern tip of Lake City. People went to First Lutheran Church on U.S. Highway 63 west of town.

Clair Abbott, a Red Cross volunteer from Rochester, said 38 people registered at the center between the time it opened at 8 a.m. and about 11 a.m. The rest of the evacuees went to stay with family members and friends, she said. About 15 Red Cross and church volunteers were on hand to assist.

Ronald Bost, a Red Cross volunteeer from Lake City, said the volunteers had just participated in a training exercise three weeks earlier in Wabasha and were well-prepared for an actual emergency.

At the evacuation center, Jennifer Meyer said she had just begun getting breakfast for her two sons when a police officer knocked on their door at the Edge O’ Town mobile home park and informed them that they would have to leave immediately.

“I picked up the boys and got out,” she said.

The boys’ father was able to pick them up and take them to Rochester.

“At least I know my kids are safe,” Meyer said.

Authorities recommended "sheltering in place" for those residents not evacuated. That means people were to stay in their homes unless instructed otherwise.

Anhydrous ammonia is extremely toxic and may be fatal if inhaled. Vapors are irritating and corrosive, according to the federal Emergency Response Guidebook.

The symptoms of exposure include a harsh burning sensation in the nose, a bad taste or stinging in the mouth, as well as headache, nausea and difficulty breathing.

First-aid treatment includes moving to a fresh air source in the contaminated area or staying indoors in place where fumes are not as high. People should flush skin and eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes, the guidebook said. Effects of inhalation may be delayed.

The fumes were detected 15 miles to the north in Red Wing early in the day. That prompted Red Wing police to investigate if the rail car started leaking as it came through that city. Police Chief Tim Sletten said officers checking the tracks and low-lying areas had found nothing dangerous as of 8:30 a.m.

Train service halted on the Canadian Pacific line. Trains were stopped at Minneiska, Winona and the Twin Cities, but they were expected to resume by evening. First, railroad crews had to move the car to a siding so the IC&E train could proceed.

The incident caused some Lake City residents to be concerned about an anhydrous ammonia tank located in Lake City. Mike Halverson, who lives near the tank, said he wanted a better warning system for residents in the event of a leak.

Himanga said that tank is filled only in the spring when the ammonia is needed for agricultural use, and an emergency plan is in place for it. But that didn’t satisfy Halverson.

“I’m a little emotional about it,” he said. “If I weren’t for people cell-phoning one another, how would we have known” about the train leak.

Himanga said the emergency siren was sounded after the leak was detected, and the information was posted on the city’s cable TV site as soon as possible.
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Anhydrous Ammonia Leak Side Effects Lawsuits Fatality, Harsh Burning Sensation, Bad Taste, Stinging In Mouth, Headaches, Nausea, Difficulty Breathing http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/anhydrous_ammonia_leak Mon, 01 Jan 2007 00:00:00 -0500 http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/anhydrous_ammonia_leak Anhydrous Ammonia Leak Side Effects May Result In Fatality Lawsuits

Anhydrous Ammonia Leak | Lawyers, Lawsuits | Side Effects: Fatality, Harsh Burning Sensation, Bad Taste, Stinging In Mouth, Headaches, Nausea, Difficulty Breathing

Helping Victims Hurt in a Toxic Rail Car Leak in Minnesota On March 17, 2007, authorities evacuated over 100 residents in southern Lake City, Minnesota after fumes from a rail car leaking anhydrous ammonia became overpowering. The leaking rail car was discovered in Lake City and moved three miles south into an unpopulated area, authorities said, but the fumes kept building.

The leaking car was part of a 32-car Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad train operating on Canadian Pacific tracks, according to Jeff Johnson, a Canadian Pacific spokesman. Eleven of the cars in the train were carrying hazardous materials, but only the one tanker was leaking. Officials told reporters a cap on the tanker car apparently failed. State, city and railroad officials said the 28,000-gallon tanker is an older model. The ICE crew did not have a replacement cap on board and one wasn't readily available in the area, they said.

One resident told a local newspaper she went to let her dog out at 6:30 a.m. and smelled a faint chemical odor. Five minutes later, she went to let her pet back indoors and had to cover her face with her jacket in order to breathe. Several residents in southern Lake City complained of feeling sick, and people on the north end of the town on Lake Pepin also reported headaches and nausea, the newspaper reported.

Anhydrous ammonia can be extremely toxic and may be fatal if inhaled. The vapors are irritating and corrosive, according to the federal Emergency Response Guidebook. Symptoms of exposure may include a harsh burning sensation in the nose, a bad taste or stinging in the mouth, as well as headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing. The effects of inhalation may be delayed.

Ammonia fumes were detected as far as 15 miles north of Lake City.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Anhydrous Ammonia Leak

If you or a loved one live in the Lake City, Minnesota area and suffered serious health ailments as a result of the toxic rail car leak, you may be entitled to compensation. Please fill out the form at the right for a free case review by a qualified attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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