The Audrain County Local Emergency Planning Committee (L.E.P.C.) turned the basement of the Audrain County Courthouse into a make-shift command post during a Table Top Exercise they held on the same day of last week’s Thursday meeting.
Several emergency officials discussed multiple angles to a scenario involving a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train.
The exercise involved a train traveling westbound through Mexico at approximately 35 m.p.h. when it collided with a semi-tanker hauling 3,400 gallons of corrosive material at the intersection of Calhoun St. and the rail line.
The impact point in the scenario was the front of the trailer, which caused the tractor and trailer to jack-knife causing a large rip in the tank.
The train continued down the track pushing the semi approximately one block from the impact point with it coming to rest at the Jefferson St. intersection. Meanwhile, the train continued approximately one block before stopping at the Clark St. bridge.
It was noted that bystanders were not able to reach the truck driver still trapped in the cab of the impacted semi. During the scenario, 9-1-1 was called three minutes after the accident. Responding units are given a report by 9-1-1 that there is a large amount of yellowish “smoke” coming from a substance spilled from the semi. People at the scene and surrounding area are calling requesting medical attention as they complain of coughing and irritation when breathing and note a burning of skin if the cloud touches them.
Two minutes later, it is reported that small fires have started along the derailment.
The scenario plays itself out and responders discuss the many situations that come up during the situation, from beginning to end. In the regular meeting, a Secretary’s report was approved as was the quarterly financial report. A quarterly hazard report was also reviewed.
The L.E.P.C. said it is still waiting on Norfolk Southern for setting up a two-hour training program for responders.
The ERG pick-up was discussed.
The L.E.P.C. also elected a vice-president, which was Brooks Petit, and secretary, which was Cindy Woolridge.
They discussed the HMEP application as well.