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Need for warning system, education hits close to home
December 2, 2013 - Rob Weaver
After a holiday weekend that included overnight guests from Willard who were displaced due to a toxic liquid leaking from a derailed tank car and news of a fatal passenger train derailment in New York City, an item on the agenda for tonight's Tiffin City Council meeting seems especially timely and urgent.
It's first on the list under “pending legislation” and the summation reads as follows:
Res. 13-31: RESOLUTION REQUESTING CSX TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN AN INSTANT WARNING SYSTEM FOR TRAIN DERAILMENTS IN THE CITY OF TIFFIN AND TO EDUCATE LOCAL SAFETY PERSONNEL REGARDING TRAIN DERAILMENT ISSUES.
As we reported last October, John Schupp asked the council to seek funding from CSX and Norfolk Southern for such a warning system. Schupp cited a January 2005 incident in Graniteville, S.C., in which many residents did not know how to properly escape a chlorine leak due to lack of education and warning. Nine people died.
From Brittany Cook's report following that meeting in early October:
“He said the system would include a public announcement system on which the city, Emergency Management Agency and other organizations would be authorized to broadcast verbal directions to residents. The system also would include automatic sensors that would trigger a warning system if chlorine or natural gas leaked.”
This is also the 29th anniversary of what is considered the world's largest industrial accident, an overnight gas leak at a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, which killed thousands of people.
Timely and urgent, indeed.
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