Odor From Chemical Leak On Railcar Prompts HazMat Response In Martinez

July 12, 2018 16:45 pm · 2 comments

An odor associated with a flammable chemical leaking from a Union Pacific train car in Martinez prompted a response from firefighters and hazardous materials specialists this afternoon.

The odor was reported by railcar personnel just before 11 a.m. just west of where the tracks cross Berellessa Street, according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Steven Aubert.

No evacuations or shelter-in-place orders were issued, but trains were prevented from moving through the area for a number of hours.

The chemical in question was identified as picoline, according to hazardous materials specialist Ellen Dempsey with the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs.

The primary concern associated with the picoline was flammability, according to Aubert, but it was unlikely to catch fire without a strong ignition source.

As of 1:15 p.m., the leak has been mitigated, according to Aubert.

There were no reported impacts to the surrounding community.

Information July 12, 2018 at 6:48 PM

I was walking around wondering what was going on. It would be nice if they provided some information to people in the near vicinity when these events happen.

Pam July 13, 2018 at 7:53 AM

Yeah! I was walking near there at that time. I’m registered for county notifications – none given!

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