A Member of the UK P&I Club reported that a container being shipped on the UP Rail had its doors blown off due to detonation of two drums of Calcium Carbide shipped within the container. The incident took place approximately 70 miles from El Paso, Texas. Below are the IMDG codes for the commodity;
Shipping Name: CALCIUM CARBIDE
IMO Class: 4.3
UN Number: 1402
Packing Group: 2
Marine Pollutant: D
According to rail officials, the explosion was likely caused by a spark from the steel drums vibrating during transit.
Federal Rail Administration and shipping line surveyors inspected other Calcium Carbide shipments moving under the same bill of lading and found improper stowage in many of the containers.
The stowage problems noted below are likely to have contributed to the incident.
Based on these stowage issues, the containers were rejected by the rail carrier.
We wish to alert Member's of the dangers of shipping this commodity. We recommend that shipping lines do not carry this cargo and if bookings are accepted, the bookings should only be accepted on a port to port basis. Due to this incident, several rail carriers will no longer accept this commodity. It is advised that Members who have bookings of this commodity that have not yet arrived at the port of discharge and are booked to be moved by rail, that the bookings are terminated at the port of discharge.
Source of Information:
UK P&I (Americas)
Phone (+1) 415-343-0114
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P&I: SanFrancisco.email@example.com (quoting vessel name & file ref.)
TT: SanFrancisco.Claims@ttclub.com (quoting file ref.)