The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Dangerous Chemicals in Train Derailment

Jun 10, 2013

A CSX train carrying chemicals collided with a garbage truck in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday, May 28 at about 2 p.m. The truck driver was sent to the hospital as some rail cars caught fire. A loud explosion, heard for miles, rocked the Rosedale area following the crash.

This 45-car train, traveling from New York to Georgia, saw one third of the train derail from the tracks. One train car contained sodium chlorate, a hazardous material that can explode when exposed to fire. It can irritate the lungs, and when burning, the gas is toxic enough to harm human liver and kidneys. Another chemical being transported on the CSX train was terephthalic acid, which did explode. While it isn’t listed as hazardous, the safety information says long-term exposure can cause respiratory problems. Another rail car was empty, but had traces of fluoracetic acid, which is considered extremely toxic to humans. When it burns, it produces poisonous gases.

The economic system we live in is willing to risk the health of millions of people. In transportation, they look for the cheapest way to transport dangerous materials through cities. But we know that accidents will happen.

We need to change the system to protect ourselves and our future.