Schools are locked down in Paulsboro, New Jersey, after a bridge collapse and train derailment dumped three cars into Mantua Creek — leaking poisonous vinyl chloride gas into the water and air.
Fox reports that some 20 people have been treated for breathing difficulties. Hospitalized patients were stripped naked and hosed down before entering the hospital — their clothes and shoes washed and tied up in plastic bags.
An NBC helicopter took this photo:
Local newspaper Courier-Post took this photo from the ground:
There was a "limited evacuation" and a "safety zone" was established in a one-mile radius of the disaster. Live video showed emergency crews in motorboats stringing booms across the creek in an apparent effort to contain a slick on the water.
Mantua Creek feeds into the Delaware River, which forms the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Paulsboro is located in Gloucester County in southwest Jersey, 18 miles from Philadelphia.
What's crazy is that the SAME BRIDGE collapsed in 2009, causing another major derailment:
The bridge dates to 1873.
A representative of Conrail, interviewed on live TV, would not even confirm that there had been a chemical leak — even as live footage showed a slick on the water. He was also tight-lipped about the 2009 collapse.
Vinyl chloride is a highly flammable, highly toxic, sweet-smelling, colorless gas used in the manufacturing of PVC plastic. It's a known carcinogen that causes short-term nervous-system symptoms including dizziness, drowsiness and headaches.
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