New Jersey Train Derailment Sparks Major Environmental Concerns

The train was transporting hazardous materials, sources say

High officials and local authorities in New Jersey are now busy trying to figure out what caused a train carrying hazardous materials to derail while crossing this American state.

The incident occurred this past Friday morning, and several concerns are now raised with respect to how it will impact on both the environment, and the public health.

Apparently, the train derailed while finding itself on a railroad bridge over Mantua Creek, but for the time being, nobody can say for sure whether it was the train's going haywire that caused the bridge to collapse, of if perhaps it was the other way around.

Given the fact that, following this derailment, roughly 12,000 gallons (45,425 liters) of a toxic chemical compound known as vinyl chloride made their way into the environment, local authorities saw fit to evacuate approximately 100 people living near to where the incident occurred.

Their decision was based on the fact that this particular industrial chemical can affect both an individual's eyes, and their respiratory pathways.

Sources say that some of the people who were going about their business experienced nausea and dizziness.

Despite the fact that 20 people had to be taken to the hospital, nobody suffered any permanent damage to their eyesight or breathing apparatus.

“I started to feel nauseous and dizzy, and I couldn't attribute it to why. Then my girlfriend called me and she told me (about the derailment) and I said that's why,” a local resident later commented on how this incident affected his health.

According to Deborah Hersman, presently employed as the US National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman, it will take about two weeks before a preliminary report concerning this incident is made available to the general public.

Whereas some maintain that the people in charge of regularly inspecting the bridge are the ones to blame for this incident, others claim that the elevated water levels brought about by Hurricane Sandy must be held accountable for weakening the bridge's stability.

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