Toxic explosion in Nebraska shows US unable to take issues affecting public security seriously: experts


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Barely two months after an explosion in Louisiana, a train carrying toxic perchloric acid has exploded in a Nebraska rail yard on Thursday, prompting evacuation orders to be issued, as huge plumes are seen engulfing the city. Experts said the incident shows the US has been unable to take seriously and overcome major issues affecting public safety and the environment and ecology in the country.

The incident happened on Union Pacific Railroad tracks in the city of North Platte. North Platte Volunteer Fire Department announced that they would order those living in the area to evacuate due to the toxic smoke from the railroad, according to media reports.

In a post on social media platforms, it said that "Emergency evacuation for the area between splinter and front North of railroad track due fire at the railroad involving heavy toxic smoke."

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Union Pacific Railroad said that an explosion occurred inside a container which resulted in several railcars catching fire. The railcar did not derail, the company said, and had been in the yard for several hours.

Union Pacific said that one of the containers contained a hazardous chemical called perchloric acid, according to Daily Mail.

Perchloric is a hazardous material used in food, drugs and biocidal products, as well as explosives, according to the report.

Two months ago, a fire at a Louisiana chemical plant triggered explosions that shook homes several miles away and sent flames and smoke billowing into the air in mid-July, prompting emergency officials to urge a few hundred nearby residents to shelter indoors for several hours and to turn off their air conditioners, the Associated Press reported.

Antiquated infrastructure and the outdated transportation were one factor. Another was a flawed system of governance in the US transport industry, experts noted. There is no doubt that the US has serious loopholes in the transportation management of hazardous substances, and the relevant error correction mechanism is in fact not effective, which means that this kind of thing will occur in the future, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday.

This shows that the US has been unable to take seriously and overcome serious and major issues affecting public safety and the environment and ecology in the country, Li said. "It must be said that this is a great irony to the self-proclaimed internal governance of the most advanced country in the world."

Analysts said that the frequent occurrence of similar incidents shows that the error correction mechanism in the US has failed. Apart from this, racism and the proliferation of guns are also clear examples of the failure of error correction mechanisms, experts noted.

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