Ethanol spills in Pasco rail yard accident

MONDAY, NOV. 7, 2011, 8:37 A.M.

PASCO, Wash. — Two trains collided in a switching yard at Pasco early today, derailing two locomotives and about a dozen cars. One of them has leaked about 2,000 gallons of ethanol.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says about three dozen fire department hazmat crews and other emergency responders are at the scene. They evacuated about 10 people from the area.

Melonas says they are spraying foam to prevent fire and building dikes to prevent the ehtanol from reaching the nearby Snake and Columbia rivers. Molasses is leaking from another car.

Melonas says the accident was caused when a coupler broke and a string of about 50 cars rolled into an idling train.

Three crewmen on a locomotive escaped unharmed before the crash about 3:40 a.m.

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