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A chemical spill occurred in 1974, due to a collision between a freight train carrying chlorine and a cement truck. Emergency services responded.

Document explaining the setup of the chemical spill case study

Date: 15 July 1974


At 0855 an eastbound cement truck on Arthur St. hit a slow moving northbound freight train at the Arthur - Waterloo intersection.


At 0900 the Fire Department received a phone call through Central Communications from Dinty’s advising of the accident and that a box car and two tank cars were on their side. The driver was slumped over the wheel in the cab and spectators were trying to rescue him. It was reported a greenish yellow vapour was rising from one tank care.


At 0904 Central Communications alerted the Police and Ambulance. At 0908 the Police receieved a call from a resident of the apartment building at 1725 Arthur Street advising she had heard a loud crash in the vicinity of the tracks and that traffic was starting to back up along Arthur St.


At 0908 the Fire Department arrived at the scene and ascertained that both tank cars were filled with chlorine and that one had a hole in the inner and outer skin and that liquid was escaping at the rate of about 4 – 5 gallons per minute. The other tank car was intact with no apparent leakage.


At 0910 the above information was relayed through Central Communications and they called Dow Chemical, the Fire Chief and the E.MO. Co-ordinator.


When contacted, the NR advised their trainman had notified them by radio and they advised it would take between 1 to 2 hours to move equipment into position to commence clearance operation.


The weather is clear, temperature 69º, winds westerly 5 – 10 mph and it is forecast to say clear and become warmer.


The following members of the Planning Group and Emergency Service Heads were absent from the city on duty or holidays: W. Mokemela, D. Macleod, T. Fell, D. Wilson in labour negotiations and R. Wainio could not be contacted.