There was a Hazardous Materials scare in Martinez on Friday night.
Here’s what happened, according to the Martinez Police Department:
On 03/23/12 at 1855 hours, MPD dispatch received information that two Union Pacific employees were taken by private vehicle to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center for a possible exposure due to a hazardous material release from a railcar at the train yard located on Embarcadero Street in Martinez.
MPD units responded along with Consolidated Fire, County Haz-Mat, Union Pacific Police, East Bay Regional PD, AMR and a Hazardous Material response crew for Union Pacific to investigate the incident.
Initial reports were that the employees were conducting switching operations near two tank cars filled with Alpha-Picoline (US DOT 2313) when they suffered respiratory symptoms from an exposure. They were transported and later released from CCRMC. As a result, County Haz-Mat was contacted.
During the initial investigation, all train traffic was stopped and a safety area was established. A Haz-Mat team inspected the suspect rail cars and found them to be structurally sound. There was no release of the chemical, but rather that some of the material had spilled on the side of the car during loading. The material vaporized after exposure to the sun. The area was deemed safe and Union Pacific was conducting an on-site clean up of the tank car.