CARTERET – Earlier this morning, a Conrail tanker car sustained minor damage when the engine coupled with it during operations along the rail lines that parallel the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 12 in the vicinity of Monroe Avenue, officials said.
Members of the Carteret Fire Department were dispatched at 10:16 a.m. and found a rail car leaking isopropyl acetate, a flammable liquid. Crews from the borough fire department were able to stop the leak shortly after noon, with assistance from Middlesex Hazmat and mutual aid from Woodbridge Township, officials said.
Conrail will offload the remaining product into tanker trucks to clear the site, but the operation is expected to last into the evening, officials said. Fire department personnel and the Middlesex County Hazardous Materials Team are monitoring the area for the presence of any vapors, but no evacuation is necessary, officials said.
“While this specific incident at the moment appears to be minor, it is indicative of Conrail’s continued failure to safeguard the products that they transport and the residents and communities in which they operate,” Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman said. “These lines were constructed for transport and Conrail has utilized them for long-term storage on far too many occasions – from idling emissions to safety lapses, far too often they jeopardize the safety of our residents. We will once again seek federal assistance and Federal Railroad Administration review of their actions.”