While they are relatively uncommon, this story demonstrates the potential magnitude of major hazardous materials emergencies involving bulk transport vehicles on local communities.
Obviously, even the most highly-skilled fire department hazmat team is unlikely to have the expertise required to effectively mitigate this type of incident.
In this case, outside specialists were called in after local agencies properly identified the extent of the hazard and took initial public protective actions.
It's also important to work with the railroad and its contractors on these events, since they possess invaluable technical expertise, industry contacts, and resources.
If you have a railroad in your jurisdiction, when was the last time you received training on railcar emergencies or exercised a scenario like this one?
Even more critical, when was the last time you trained alongside your local/regional/state hazmat teams?