Chemical company wants railroad to pay for hydrochloric acid spill

By Ann Knef | Jul 11, 2007

An 800-pound hydrochloric acid spill in an East St. Louis rail yard is being blamed on Alton and Southern Railway Co., according to a civil suit filed June 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

General Chemical LLC is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages from Alton and Southern for costs of cleanup and disposal of contaminated soil and materials over a July 4, 2006, incident.

The suit claims railroad workers improperly moved railcars at a switching station in East St. Louis causing a chain reaction and a hose connection to break loose on a connected tank car.

"In addition to verbally notifying the defendant that the Connected Tank Car was connected to plaintiff's unloading station, the plaintiff had properly flagged the Connected Tank Car and had set safety wheel chocks to prevent the Connected Tank Car from moving," the complaint states.

General Chemical is represented by Bryan L. Skelton and Tara I. English of Reed, Armstrong, Gorman, Mudge & Morrissey of Edwardsville.

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