Tennessee Train Accident Releases Toxic Fumes, Resulting in Thousands of Residents Being Evacuated.

Trains helped transform America into the nation it is today.  Railroads first connected the East and West Coasts that continue to make massive deliveries and shipments.  Trains also assists ferry commuters around major metropolitan areas.  There is, however, a downside to relying on trains for transportation: most trains carry hundreds of passengers at a time, meaning than an accident or collision can be extremely harmful. Negligent and careless acts involving trains may lead to serious injury or death. Every year, about 1,000 people die in train accident in Massachusetts alone.  Even trains that solely carry cargo may be extremely harmful to people, as was recently the case in Tennessee.

This week, residents in Maryville, Tennessee, were alerted in the middle of the night by firefighters and first responders to immediately leave their homes and vacate the area. A commercial CSX train heading to Georgia had one of its carts derail while passing by late one night.  The cart was carrying a chemical to make plastics, which was a highly flammable toxic gas.  While safe when it is properly sealed, the derailment cracked the pressurized seal on the gas and caught fire, spreading a toxic cloud two miles wide.  Firefighters tried to control the fire and over 5,000 residents had to be evacuated. According to abcnews.com, over a day later, officials have still not deemed it safe to return to the area and many are wondering where they are going to be able to live in the meantime.

Outside of the inconvenience to an entire town, ten emergency responders have been hospitalized for inhaling toxic fumes, but their injuries are reportedly not life- threatening.  It is, however, unclear how many more people may be exposed to the fumes or if any of the evacuees have been negatively impacted, as the investigation is just beginning.  It is possible that dozens, if not hundreds, of people may have been injured by this accident, despite there not being a single passenger on the train other than its crew.

Massachusetts common carriers, such as trains, subways and trolleys, owe a heightened duty of care to passengers under applicable Massachusetts law. Therefore, if you are injured due to the negligence of the railway company or operator of a common carrier, you are entitled to receive money damages for their breach of care.You owe it to yourself to learn about your legal options and rights.  Call 24/7 at 617-787-3700 or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com to speak with one of our train accident injury lawyer specialists.  Your initial consultation is free and private, so contact us today!

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