Derailed Train Leaks Lubes in La.


A train derailed in St. Landry Parish, La., Aug. 4, leaking lube oils, a fatty alcohol used in lubricant additives and other materials.

On its way from Lake Charles to Livonia, the train derailed at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 4 near a subdivision between Lawtell and Opelousas, La., according to an emergency declaration by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Of the 76 railcars and two locomotives, 23 railcars derailed.

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Fourteen of the 23 derailed cars contain regulated products, Gov. Jindal said in a news release update Aug. 5. One car is leaking lubricant oil, and a second car is leaking a class 8 substance known as caustic soda. State Police and first responders are working on a plan to address a third car carrying a class 9 hazardous substance called dodecanol. Workers on the ground are using dams and dikes to contain the leaking substances from these cars to prevent further offsite impact.

Dodecanol is a fatty alcohol used in various products, including lubricant additives, synthetic detergents, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, rubber and textiles.

In addition, Gov. Jindal said, two derailed cars contained vinyl chloride monomer. Neither is leaking, and Union Pacific contracts are damming off the area to further inspect the two cars. Most vinyl chloride is turned into PVC, which is used in lubricants bottle packaging, among many other uses.

According to Jindals update, no concern from air monitors exists, and the derailment isnt expected to shut down any rail service because of detours in place. La. State Police evacuated a one-mile area around the derailment, including 101 homes. The evacuation is expected to remain in order for a several days.

The governors state of emergency declaration will extend to Sept. 2 unless terminated sooner.

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