MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Crews will be uprighting a detailed train tanker filled with nearly 30,000 gallons of liquid propane Thursday night.
Thermal camera video from Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue shows crews monitoring the propane tanker for leaks. Crews are also working to rebuild 300 feet of displaced track.
“I’m hopeful, but until we get this resolved completely, I’m not going to sleep as well at night,” said Congressman Vern Buchanan. “Not that it’s a huge risk but it is a risk and I feel like we’re in pretty good shape.”
Congressman Buchanan visited the site Thursday to figure out what resources may be needed. He said a rail gave away causing five box cars and a propane tanker to derail.
“Everyone’s noticing that we have serious issues with our infrastructure and that there are a lot of the times poisonous chemicals going on the trains through our communities and their neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge of Manatee County. “I hope that they’re going to wake up and pay attention.”
Ostenbridge is calling on the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. Seminole Gulf Railway is the operator of the train. The company says it inspects the track once a week.
“We do have concerns about what is moving through our communities and what is traveling through the rails, 100-year-old rails, through our communities,” said Ostenbridge.
However, right now the focus is on the tanker and setting it upright.
“We will have all of our resources stage downstream, will have monitoring equipment through here, as well as our drone, monitoring, continually and be ready to act in the event that something goes wrong,” said Chief Robert Bounds, Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue.
Congressman Buchanan wants to see this situation resolved within five days, but, he says it doesn’t end here we need to be looking at all rail systems.