Near miss

CP 550

When I saw this, I just assumed it was an old story. There was another one? WTF?

Over the weekend, 11 cars from an 111-car CSX train derailed in South Philly. The cars were carrying crude oil, but there were no leaks, no deaths and no injuries.

This time.

But the incident happened almost exactly a year after seven crude-oil-carrying cars on a CSX train derailed over the Schuylkill River, raising questions — never entirely answered — about whether Philadelphia citizens are adequately protected from the possibility of an oil catastrophe as the city grows into a possible “energy hub” future.

“Both accidents were predictable, preventable, and a near miss from potentially catastrophic impacts,” activist Iris Marie Bloom blogged on Saturday. “There must be no third derailment. That no rupture occurred is extremely lucky. We can’t leave prevention to luck.”

She is right to be concerned. Where there are oil shipments, there are frequent — if frequently minor — incidents: ProPublica’s Isaiah Thompson reported in November that “in at least 65 cases over the last two years, tank cars bound for or arriving in Philadelphia were found to have loose, leaking or missing safety components.”

And while catastrophic events involving crude don’t happen every day, they can be devastating. In 2013, an oil-train derailment in Quebec set off an explosion that killed 47 people. There have been several more huge explosions in recent years, albeit with fewer casualties, but even federal regulators think there is good reason to be concerned.

4 thoughts on “Near miss

  1. “but even federal regulators think there is good reason to be concerned.” Cause, heaven forbid, the cars be certified safe BEFORE a disaster.

  2. To hell with certifying the safety of the rail cars, just build a bloody pipeline.
    Or better yet, stop burning carbon based fuels altogether.
    Build wind farms and solar electric farms. Send the electricity produced in that way through the air like Tesla suggested. Buy an electric car and plug it in at night. Heat and cool our homes and run our appliances with electricity.
    Bing, bang, boom….problem solved.

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