WHILE THE FLORIDA EAST RAILWAY (FEC) EXECUTIVES PUSHED FLORIDA'S EAST COAST CITIES AND COUNTIES TO APPROVE OF BRIGHTLINE'S HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN, they also quietly obtained permission to haul extremely flammable liquified natural gas along those same tracks.
Liquified natural gas (LNG) is a natural gas which is kept chilled and stable. When warmed, it can make natural gas to generate electricity. However, if a spill or puncture of a container during a train derailment would be deadly. When exposed to the air, LNG can "burst into flames."
"The disaster risk with LNG is considered a high-risk situation that has never been allowed to happen until now," Fred Millar, an Arlington, VA-based chemical disaster expert and independent consultant stated. "People are being kept in the dark about this enormous risk. A vapor cloud could travel a couple of miles and someone starts their car and the whole place blows up. Some people will die before they can get out."
In December of 2015, the Martin County Fire Rescue conducted a "vulnerability analysis" of FEC's transportation of LNG and used Environmental Protection Agency software to predict what would happen if a train crash punctured a four-inch hole into a single LNG container car. The software estimated that nearly 400 people would "experience life-threatening injuries or death" and the explosion would have affect radius of 817 yards.