Councils call for separate chemical train track

Officials in the south are calling for separate railway tracks to take trains carrying dangerous chemicals away from densely populated areas following this weekend’s crash in Belgium, the AD reports on Monday.

One person died and 49 were injured near the Belgian town of Wetteren when a train taking chemicals from Rotterdam to Ghent port derailed on Friday night as it changed tracks. The train passed through Dutch towns such as Dordrecht and Zwijndrecht prior to the accident.

‘The disaster in Belgium is sad evidence that things can go very wrong. And if it had happened here the death toll would have been far higher,’ said Dordrecht’s transport alderman Jasper Mos in the AD. ‘This shows that more safety measures need to be taken in transporting dangerous substances.’

Fire broke out after the derailment and water used to put out the flames entered the drains, causing poisonous gasses to enter the houses of people living close by. Several hundred people were evacuated from their homes.

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