Local News

Emergency Crews Investigate Chemical Fumes From Train Car

Posted September 7, 2000

— Chemical fumes from a train car caused a lot of commotion in downtown Raleigh.

A Norfolk Southern train stopped at the intersection of West and Johnson streets at 4 p.m. Friday. Officials say the car may have gotten too hot, and an escape valve to relieve the pressure may have opened up, letting the chemical fumes out.

The smell from the fumes caused police to evacuate homes and businesses in the area. The emergency also caused traffic to be rerouted to nearby streets.

"I had a customer call me, and he was supposed to come pick up an instrument. He said he couldn't get to me because the street was blocked off," said business owner Don Johnston.

The Hazmat team discovered the fumes were a combination of anhyrous ammonia and sulfur. Some emergency personnel donned Hazmat gear including masks and air masks to deal with the situation.

Officials moved the train back to the depot to remove the chemicals from the cars.

Fire officials said homes and nearby businesses were never in any danger. They also said the chemicals are transported through the area legally on a regular basis.

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