Home | National News | Firefighters try bold step to end California rail fire

Firefighters try bold step to end California rail fire

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Between 4,000 and 5,000 homes in the city of Lincoln, California were evacuated, and students in the area were missing their first days of school.

August 24, 2011, Associated Press -- (California) Firefighters try bold step to end Calif. rail fire. Firefighters August 24 tried to drain propane from a burning rail car in a bold maneuver meant to head off an explosion after the blaze forced the evacuation of thousands of people in Lincoln, California.

Officials decided to take the step after consulting with members of a national response team from Houston, who were flown in overnight to offer advice, the Lincoln fire chief said. Fire officials initially said the blaze could continue for 21 days, but the chief said that scenario was unacceptable. Between 4,000 and 5,000 homes in the city of 40,000 were evacuated, and students in the area were missing their first days of school.

The chief said firefighters now hope to have the blaze under control within 24 to 48 hours. Officials were trying to head off a potentially catastrophic failure of the 29,000-gallon tank. A buildup of heat could lead to an explosion and fireball several hundred yards wide. An explosion also could throw metal shards up to a mile away, prompting officials to order mandatory evacuations within a 1-mile radius.

The chief said firefighters had managed to keep the tanker cool since it caught fire August 23, but worried it was showing signs of melting. It was burning at the Northern Propane Energy yard. It was surrounded by trucks, other rail cars and storage tanks with at least 170,000 gallons of additional propane that the chief said were "at risk" as the fire burned. A gas pipeline also runs through the area. One worker at the rail yard was injured in the initial fire and suffered flash burns, but has been released from the hospital.

The chief said the procedure to drain the rail car of propane, called a "hot tap," would begin later August 24. He said the tanker would remain in place as firefighters attach a pipe and drain the propane into a hole to be dug by bulldozers. The propane would then be ignited and allowed to burn itself out, a process that will take several hours and produce black smoke. Highway 65, a major commuter thoroughfare between Sacramento and Lincoln, remained closed near the blaze.

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44252136/ns/us_news/#.TlU_212OvgZ

: DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report 25 August 2011

  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
No tags for this article
More from National News
Ohio Educators Adopt School Safety Initiatives
School associations have partnered with NaviGate Prepared, a system that gives first responders eyes-on visibility to a crisis as it unfolds, significantly reducing and improving response time. ...
CyberPatriot VI Registration Open
Registration for the largest national cyber defense competition, CyberPatriot, is underway. High schools and home school programs are invited....
Enterasys Network Access Control Honored
Student demands for an enhanced classroom experience are met, while educators are provided the assurance they need that their networks are secure and within their control....
LA84 Foundation Tackles Youth Football Safety Issue
Scholars, doctors and sports officials will join the LA84 Foundation to discuss whether youth under the age of 14 should be allowed to participate in tackle football....
Tribute: 'I Have A Dream' Speech
A video playlist commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech, August 28, 1963....
Obama on Black Youth Issues
"When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." ...
NASRO Announces National Award Recipients
School Resource Officer of the Year, Deputy Jason Solomon, created a cadet program focused on law enforcement, and led an investigation of a teacher who was having an inappropriate relationship with a student....
Raise Your Voice, Not Your Hands!
In anticipation of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, the Broward Sheriff's Office is urging young people not to let their emotions get the best of them....
Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Ole Miss, NCAA
The Abram family filed the lawsuit in May 2011 based on claims that coaches, trainers and athletic department officials at Ole Miss violated NCAA guidelines covering the intensity of spring practices....
Visiting Savoy School
With the Turnaround Arts Initiative, test scores are rising, enrollment is up 18%, attendance is up, and the school is developing fine arts partnerships....
Mace Security Promotes Using Pepper Spray in Schools
John McCann, president and CEO of Mace Security International, said he planned to convey to lawmakers that there is an alternative to using armed guards to protect children from would-be attackers....
NASRO Announces Keynotes for National Conference
NASRO's 23rd annual School Safety Conference July 14 to 19 in Orlando, Fla. will offer sessions from the FBI, representatives of the Newtown, Conn. police department, and school policing experts....
Are Indiana Schools Safe for Our Children?
Two of Indiana’s key personnel working towards safer schools will speak at the IACP Fall Conference: Attorney General Greg Zoeller, and Glenda Ritz, Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction. ...
Youth Leadership Training in Michigan
Michigan State Police provide teens with training in first aid, ethics, presentation skills, job interview techniques, gang awareness, and emergency preparedness....
A Role for Officers in Schools
CSG Justice Center initiative seeks to help minimize dependence on suspension and expulsion to manage student behaviors, improve students’ academic outcomes, and reduce their involvement in the juvenile justice system....