July 24, 2021

river pollution following a collision between a heavy goods vehicle and a train carrying phosphoric acid

A collision between a freight train carrying chemicals and a heavy goods vehicle towing a boat occurred during the night of Tuesday June 15 to Wednesday June 16, between Rumigny and Liart (Ardennes). The train driver, slightly injured in the accident, was released from the hospital.

River pollution was also observed. “Of the three phosphoric acid leaks initially observed, one was able to be absorbed, and the other two were reduced” by the fire department, the prefecture reported in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“The installation of a sealing plug by the firefighters notably allowed a temporary retention of the liquid, without being able to completely prevent a flow into the neighboring river, where fish mortality is observed up to 1 kilometer downstream of the river, without risk of impact for water catchments in the Ardennes ”, she added.

The services also detected a diesel fuel leak from the train engine. Pumping started, despite “Difficulties in accessing the locomotive from the road”. The surveys carried out “Confirmed that the accident did not cause air pollution”.

“State services are fully mobilized to limit the risks of pollution”, reacted on Twitter the Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili.

France Bleu Champagne-Ardenne has published a video of the departmental fire and rescue service of the Ardennes (SDIS08)

Ten to fifteen days of work

The rehabilitation of the railway installations should take ten to fifteen days. Until then, the SNCF is offering substitute coaches for travelers, and alternative routes for freight. The road is cut and detours put in place until further notice. “A detour has been set up at Signy-le-Petit towards Auvillers-les-Forges and from Liart towards Aubigny-les-Pothées, Rouvroy-sur-Audry and Le Piquet”, the Ardennes prefecture reported on Twitter. Due to river pollution, swimming in the Aube is prohibited in the municipalities of Rumigny and Hannappes.

The accident took place around 3 a.m. at a level crossing on the D27, between the municipalities of Rumigny and Liart. In the collision, which resulted in a fire that was quickly brought under control by firefighters on the truck’s trailer, seven cars derailed. The investigation was entrusted to the Revin gendarmerie.

The World with AFP