While the fiery derailment and crash of a train carrying 90,000 gallons ethanol in Columbus, Ohio makes for some spectacular pictures and video, the folks at the Renewable Fuels Association point out that this is the exception and not the rule as 99.99 percent of all hazardous materials are delivered by rail without any issues:
“Billions of gallons of ethanol safely travel American railways without incident each year. Unfortunately, some accidents do occur which are out of our control. For whatever reason, some trains derail. In order to help ensure the safety of the public near these railways, the Renewable Fuels Association has been partnering with the federal government, rail carriers, railroad operators, and other stakeholders to conduct safety seminars for first responders all across the country. Since beginning the program in 2010, the RFA has conducted more than three dozen trainings for more than 1,500 first responders nationwide. These fire departments and other essential safety organizations now have the proper understanding and tools to respond in the unlikely event of a train accident involving ethanol.”
The RFA also has founded the Emergency Response Coalition (ethanolresponse.com), designed to educate responders on what to do in such an incident.
Check out the video from ABC News below. While I can’t agree about some of the characterizations of the green fuel, the video of the actual explosion is pretty amazing.