Lessons Learned from the 9/16/2011 BNSF South Rail Yard Incident in Amarillo, Texas - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Lessons Learned from the 9/16/2011 BNSF South Rail Yard Incident in Amarillo, Texas PowerPoint Presentation
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Lessons Learned from the 9/16/2011 BNSF South Rail Yard Incident in Amarillo, Texas

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Lessons Learned from the 9/16/2011 BNSF South Rail Yard Incident in Amarillo, Texas

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  1. Lessons Learned from the 9/16/2011 BNSF South Rail Yard Incident in Amarillo, Texas Photo by Karla Weatherly

  2. Amarillo Demographics • City of Amarillo: • Population: 190,695 • Downtown Business District: ~20,000 • General Demographics… regional hub for: • Banking • Health & Medical • Education • Transportation • Agriculture

  3. Hazardous Materials: Potter & Randall Counties, Texas HAZMAT Fixed Facilities: 225 Tier II Facilities 17 RMP Facilities El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion - Bushland HAZMAT Transportation: Highways, Railroads, Pipelines Diesel Tanker Rollover

  4. BNSF Operations in Amarillo • Two Major Rail Yard Operations: • North Yard (previous Burlington Northern Yard) • South Yard (previous Santa Fe Yard) • 800-1,300 Railcars in yards at any given time • Mainline Tracks Through Amarillo: • Servicing North/South & East/West Rail Traffic • 60-120 Trains Daily • Average of 80-100 Railcars per Train • Significant Transport of Hazardous Materials: • Average of 75 inhalation hazard railcars through Amarillo weekly. Santa Fe Railroad: Amarillo Yard, circa 1943

  5. View from Bank One Building, Downtown September 16, 2011… At approximately 11:27 a.m., an incident occurred in the BNSF South Rail Yard that resulted in a tanker car loaded with Isopentane (UN1265) conflagrating. View from I-40/I-27 Interchange Photo by Wes Reeves Photo by Wrustler Weston View from Head Start School/Day Care Photo by Karla Weatherly

  6. Major Impacts & Response • 3 BNSF workers suffered smoke inhalation with two transported to local hospital • Damaged/destroyed 28 rail cars and caused significant damage to the tracks (estimated $1.5 million) • Ceased rail yard operations for ~12 hours (south yard) • Evacuation of ¼ mile in all directions with ½ mile shelter-in-place downwind • Expanded unified command established between AFD/APD with BNSF representatives • EOC activated to provide coordination with State and Federal agency representatives

  7. Concrete Hopper Car Isopentane Railcar Molton Sulfur Railcars Sodium Hydroxide Railcar BNSF South Railyard… 09/16/2011 Photo by Michael Norris / Amarillo Globe-News

  8. Incident Impacts: • BNSF Rail Yard • Industrial Area • Residential Area • Maverick Club • Head Start School • Interstate-40 • COA Service Center • AECC/EOC • City Hall • Civic Center • Potentially 20,000 • People Incident Geography • ERG Isolation Zone (yellow circle) • Railcar Involved in Fire: • Isopentane: ERG 128 ½ Mile • Sulfur (Molten): ERG 133 ½ Mile

  9. Lessons Learned • Emergency Response Delays/Confusion • Public Calls to 9-1-1 Varied Widely • Difficult/Limited Access to Incident Scene • Delays in Unifying Command • BNSF Coordination Improvements: • Planning Coordination Out-of-Date • Contact Information Out-of-Date • BNSF Assembly Points Not Communicated • NWS Plume Model Sharing • Public Protective Actions • Potential Impacts on Critical Infrastructure • Communication to Public/Internal Organization • Emergency Public Information

  10. Improvement Plans • Improve BNSF Coordination: • Emergency Plans & Contact Information Updated (annual review incorporated into exercise program) • BNSF Assembly Points Simplified & Mapped Out • Invited to Join Potter & Randall LEPC (listed in BNSF Plan) • Exercise & Training Program: • Schedule Annual Tabletop Exercise (February) • Conduct Periodic Railcar Training (first offering in March 2012 with 100 participants) • Enhancements to Information Tools: • Improved Coordination & Information Sharing with NWS (specifically use of the HySplit plume model) • Enhanced Public Notification Tools: • NIXLE and Resolve to Be Ready

  11. http://oem.amarillo.gov/ (806) 378-3004