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Acid train derails

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 Emergency services are in the fourth day of clean up following the derailment of a train carrying acid near Cloncurry.

The QR National train, which had more than 1.5 megalitres of sulphuric acid on board, jumped the tracks at the Cloncurry railway station late Friday afternoon, the North West Star reports.

The train's 52 carriages were each holding around 32 000 litres of acid.

According to Queensland Fire and Rescue Service inspector Ross Mutzelburg no acid was actually spilled in the incident.

"Thirteen of them are derailed but they're still upright," he told the North West Star.

Around a dozen firefighters were at the accident site on Sunday to oversee the recovery.

Mutzelburg said it was a dangerous job as the train's carriages were linked to one another by a network of hoses through which the acid flowed.

"We've got experts here undoing the hoses and pumping the acid out. They're wearing acid protection suits which get very hot so there's always a bit of risk to them

"It takes about two hours to disconnect each hose."

He went on to say that every time a hose is disconnected there is a chance the acid may spill.

However "there's only been about a cup spilled, which isn't bad out of more than a million litres".

There is no danger to the public, as the train derailed away from the town.

Track repairs will be needed, but disruption to services is expected to be minimal as the incident occurred in the rail yard, and not the line itself.

According to the CourierMail, the train came from the Phosphate Hill mine.

 


 

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