CARTERET – Two freight train tanker cars carrying a flammable liquid derailed last night in an industrial section of Carteret. A Conrail spokesman said that neither tanker car was compromised and they are not leaking, and that no one was injured.
Officials closed ramps at New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 12 as a precaution while workers moved to upright the train cars. Adjacent industrial and commercial buildings in the area were also evacuated as a precautionary measure, including Iport 12, Holiday Inn and the 1001 Roosevelt Avenue warehouse, according to Mayor Dan Reiman.
The fire department is not evacuating any residential areas and do not expect to. Minue School in West Carteret has voluntarily chosen to relocate its students, as a precaution under the direction of the superintendent and not based on any order from the Carteret Fire Department, according to the mayor.
“This is another instance in an ongoing pattern of irresponsible conduct by Conrail that negatively impacts the residents of Carteret and Central New Jersey by disregarding safety concerns and operating in a way that substantially detracts from the quality of life of surrounding residential property owners,” Reiman said.
The Carteret mayor cited the Conrail practice of storing trains carrying hazardous chemicals on tracks running adjacent to residential neighborhoods within the borough.
“The residents in the area of Monroe and Jackson Avenues in Carteret and Rosewood Lane in Port Reading are forced to endure the presence of idling and banging trains within yards of their property. These trains are filled with hazardous chemicals that threaten the safety of thousands of residents if an incident similar to this morning’s derailment were to occur closer to these homes,” Reiman said. “Essentially, CONRAIL has taken tracks that were intended for the continuous passage of trains and turned it into a de facto rail yard.”
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