Oil In Quebec Train Disaster Was Mislabeled

Cassie Boss - Author

Sep. 12 2013, Updated 5:46 a.m. ET

Canadian officials say the oil carried by the train that derailed in July in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, was mislabeled as being less volatile than it actually was.

The Quebec disaster nearly destroyed the entire town and killed 47 people.

According to the Huffington Post, the oil, which came from North Dakota, had been labeled as a Packing Group III product when it was initially loaded on the train.

The report continued on to say that in a press release Wednesday morning, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said it had analyzed oil from a part of the 72-car train that didn’t explode and found it had the characteristics of a Packing Group II product.

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While both groups are considered “dangerous goods,” Packing Group II includes liquids like gasoline that explode at a lower temperature than Packing Group III.

the Transportation Safety Board statement said the fact the oil was mislabeled “explains in part why the crude ignited so quickly once the train cars were breached.”

According to ABC News, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued safety advisory letters to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and to Transport Canada.

The report continues on to say that in response to the letters, U.S. railroad and hazardous materials safety officials said in a joint statement that they are still investigating whether crude oil shipments are being misclassified.

The investigation includes spot inspections and sampling crude oil shipments to determine the ingredients and nature of the oil.

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“Shippers and rail carriers found to be out of compliance with hazardous materials regulations could be fined or placed out of service,” the statement from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said.

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As The Inquisitr reported earlier, while the train involved in the July disaster was operated by a US company, New Brunswick’s Irving Oil co. was responsible for the labels.

If there are any charges filed for the mislabeled oil, Irving Oil will likely be the target.

[Image by Sûreté du Québec via Wikimedia Commons]


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