Train carrying 30,000 gallons of propane derails in Florida

A train carrying sheet rock and propane has derailed near the Sarasota County-Manatee County line in Florida.

Emergency crews responded to the scene where five Seminole Gulf Railway cars toppled off the tracks, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.

Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Robert Bounds told the outlet that the car carrying 30,000 gallons of propane was not leaking and that the accident scene is safe. No injuries were reported.

“We have drones. We run the hazmat team for the county of Manatee and we were in the air with our drone which has thermal capabilities,” Mr Bounds told Fox13. “We were able to look at the tank and ascertain the levels of the tank from the outside, it’ll show up different colors if anything is actually leaking. There are no leaks. There are no actual physical damage to the tank other than the rollover, but there is no significant damage to it.”

Hazmat crews were deployed to help contain the scene.

Emergency responders had to siphon 30,000 gallons of propane out of the tanker before they could clear the car from the scene of the accident. Infrared cameras were used to monitor the propane while it was being drained from the car.

“We are proud of our first responders,” Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge said. “Their quick action has helped maintain the safety and security of our citizens.”

The accident comes at a time when the public at large is paying attention to the nation's railways, driven largely by the disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

A Norfolk Southern train traveling through the village derailed in early February, and emergency crews were forced to vent and burn the hazardous and highly flammable vinyl chloride gas it was carrying to prevent an explosion.

An overturned train tanker in Sarasota County, Florida, following a partial train derailment (screengrab/FOX 13)
An overturned train tanker in Sarasota County, Florida, following a partial train derailment (screengrab/FOX 13)

Residents in the village have been concerned over the health ramifications of the fallout from the chemical burn as federal agencies continue to lead the clean-up effort in the village.

At least three other trains have derailed since the East Palestine train derailment, but none have resulted in dangerous chemical spills or injuries. A train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Detroit, and trains in Nebraska and another in Ohio have derailed since the East Palestine accident.

Despite the recent press coverage, train derailments are not especially rare events.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that an average of 1,704 trains derail each year.