Derailment in NJ sends chemical tankers into creek

Officials stand next to derailed freight train cars in Paulsboro, N.J., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. People in three southern New Jersey towns were told Friday to stay inside after the freight train derailed and several tanker cars carrying hazardous materials toppled from a bridge and into a creek. At least one tanker car may contain vinyl chloride, Gloucester County Emergency Management director J. Thomas Butts told WPVI-TV. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

PAULSBORO, N.J. (AP) — Officials in New Jersey are backing away from an earlier claim that a bridge buckled and caused a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals to derail.

It's not clear whether the derailment or the partial collapse happened first over Mantua Creek in Paulsboro.

Environmental officials are sending a special vehicle to monitor air quality around the site of the derailment.

At least two tanker cars toppled into the creek causing a leak of hazardous vinyl chloride into the air Friday. High exposure levels can cause breathing problems and dizziness.

Dozens of people went to a hospital complaining of breathing problems.

The Environmental Protection Department says tests show no chemical in the air now.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to the site.

A barge with a crane is being brought in from New York City so it will be at least a day before the damaged tankers can be removed.

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