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Derailed train causes chemical hazard

Derailed train causes chemical hazard

Niël Terblanché


A SPECIAL team that deals with hazardous chemical spills has been dispatched to the scene where a train transporting sulphuric acid derailed.


One of the tanker carriages filled with sulphuric acid has sprung a leak as a result of the derailment and caused a dangerous situation for people travelling between Otavi and Otjiwarongo.


According to a member of the Namibian Police who attended the scene, 18 carriages of the train and the locomotive belonging to TransNamib derailed near the turn-off to the B2 Gold Mine near Otavi late on Monday afternoon.


DISASTROUS DERAILMENT: A dangerous chemical spill occurred when a train derailed between Otavi and Otjiwarongo late on Monday afternoon. – Footage: Contributed


The traffic officer issued a warning to the public to avoid stopping at the accident scene because of dangerous fumes that might cause injury or poisoning.


Besides the HazMat team that was deployed to contain the chemical spill, the mining company also sent a team of security guards to the scene to cordon the area off to make it safe.


According to one of the emergency workers on the scene of the derailment, heavy cranes will be sent from Walvis Bay to lift the locomotive and other carriages that were not too severely damaged back onto the rails.


The cause of the derailment has not been determined yet.


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