The cause of the Sept. 11 New York Susquehanna and Western Railway train derailment in Sparta that spilled three tanks' worth of liquid carbon dioxide remains unknown and under investigation, NJ.com reported.
New York Susquehanna & Western Railway officials told Sparta Township Police that at about 11:31 p.m., one of its trains had just left the Linde North America plant on Demarest Road. Suddenly, for reasons presently unknown, the three cars—measuring a total of 170 feet and having a combined weight of 395 tons—jumped the track and tumbled down a small embankment.There were no injuries reported, Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe said, adding that the Sparta Fire Department stayed on any possibility of a Hazmat threat was eliminated.
Refrigerated liquid carbon dioxide, used for freezing food and extinguishing fires among other things, can be deadly. Sgt. Beebe said it can cause asphyxiation by displacement of air, and when it's exposed to heat sources, the liquid can ignite, erupt and even rocket.
Linde, a gas industry corporation, is based in New Providence.