News & Reviews News Wire Lithium-ion batteries cause fire and explosion aboard UP train NEWSWIRE

Lithium-ion batteries cause fire and explosion aboard UP train NEWSWIRE

By R G Edmonson | April 28, 2017

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HOUSTON — A 53-foot intermodal container aboard a Union Pacific train caught fire and exploded April 23 just north of downtown Houston.

Local media reported that the container was carrying lithium-ion batteries in a train from the port of New Orleans to San Antonio, Texas. No one was injured, but the blast blew out windows in nearby homes and businesses. One report said the batteries were headed for a recycling center.

UP spokesman Jeffrey DeGraff told local media that personnel on the ground noticed smoke coming from the box about 6 p.m., and notified the train’s conductor. He stopped the train, inspected, and called emergency crews. Firefighters took two hours to extinguish the blaze.

DeGraff said that the batteries were not considered hazardous material. He did not return calls from Trains News Wire requesting additional information.

6 thoughts on “Lithium-ion batteries cause fire and explosion aboard UP train NEWSWIRE

  1. It actually depends on the combination of materials used to make lithium batteries that determines whether or not they’re hazardous, everyone calls them all lithium-ion, but that is just a generic name as lithium is combined with various different other materials to make the batters, some more stable than others, and some are hazardous, some technically aren’t hazardous…without knowing the actual battery types they could conceivably have been non-hazardous ones.

  2. Yeah, I would call anything that would eat your insides out if you swallowed it hazardous. I think capacitors wouldn’t be small enough to fit today’s electronics.

  3. Lithium ion batteries, are hazardous material UN3480. The auto industry even packages CR2032 watch batteries used for keyless entry transmitters as hazmat, even though they are consumer commodity.

  4. Of course Lithium ion is unstable. This ins’t known by now? Time to ditch batteries anyway and move on to capacitors.

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