Freight train carrying 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid derails in Queensland, Australia

Queensland police have declared the situation an emergency with a 2km exclusion zone in place

Kate Ng
Monday 28 December 2015 10:26 GMT
Australia: Train carrying 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid derails

A freight train carrying about 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid and diesel fuel has derailed in a rural area of north-west Queensland, Australia.

One locomotive and all 26 carriages overturned on Sunday at the Quarrels site, 20km east of Julia Creek, an area that has been badly affected by flooding.

Authorities have declared the situation an emergency under the Public Safety Preservation Act, and a two-kilometre exclusion zone is now in place around the site.

Queensland Police said there was “minor leakage of sulphuric acid and spillage of diesel fuel” at the site.

A locomotive and all 26 carriages were derailed in Queensland, Australia (Queensland Police)

Aurizon Holdings Limited, the rail freight company that owns the train, told ABC News three drivers sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Julia Creek hospital.

A spokeswoman for Queensland Rail said no crew has been able to access the site yet as the Flinder highway leading to it has been cut off due to flooding.

Queensland Rail said they are “working closely with relevant authorities on the environmental response as required” and the extent of damage caused by the derailment is “yet to be determined”.

A Julia Creek Hotel publican, David Wyld, told ABC News the road was blocked by rail workers and police immediately following the accident, and “you could smell the sulphuric acid where they actually blocked it off”.

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