Page:NTSB - Railroad Accident Report - Derailment on May 25, 1989.djvu/25
hazardous material." He was informed initially by SP personnel that the product was potash; later in the day he received a data sheet from the Office of Emergency Services (OES) that identified the product as sodium carbonate.
About 10:40 a.m., the search team was notified that a third person was reported missing at 2326 Duffy Street. Because of the total destruction of the house and the unstable condition of the train cars that were piled up in the area, search and rescue efforts for the missing person at that location were delayed until heavy equipment could be brought in to move some of the damaged structure and train cars.
Representatives from the California OES, which was notified of the accident at 7:45 a.m., through the San Bernardino County Communications Center, arrived on scene about 9:15 a.m., reported to the command post and offered assistance. About 10:15 a.m., OES arranged for two scenting dogs and their trainers to be flown from the San Francisco Bay area. The dogs and their trainers arrived about 3:55 p.m., and the trainers were briefed by the incident commander about the ongoing search and rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, about 2:00 p.m., SP began to set up blocks and tackle to facilitate removal of train debris with a crane. These efforts were halted by the incident commander about 3:00 p.m., before debris removal began, because the incident commander and the OES believed that such efforts might endanger rescue operations. The incident commander decided, and SP and Calnev representatives concurred, that nothing would be moved until the dogs had completed a search of the area.
The dogs alerted rescuers at various times when they sniffed the vicinity of the house at 2326 Duffy Street between 4:20 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Shortly after 9:00 p.m., the rescue workers located a hand projecting through the debris at 2326 Duffy Street. The surrounding area was immediately stabilized. An opening was cleared by paramedics, who sent down oxygen and took vital signs of the trapped person. With the help of power tools, the resident was eventually freed from the debris about 10:34 p.m., about 15 hours after the derailment.
About 11:20 p.m., a rescuer was alerted by a dog in the vicinity of the third head-end locomotive unit. After removal of debris, the head-end brakeman was found dead in that unit about 3:03 a.m., May 13. The dogs worked until about midnight, examining all affected residences and portions of the train. By early morning on Saturday, May 13, the incident commander determined that all areas had been adequately searched, there were no further reports of missing persons, and, consequently, search and rescue efforts were terminated.
Shortly after noon on May 13, before wreckage removal operations began, SP bulldozers and hundreds of sandbags were used to build a dam at the lowest end of the accident site to help contain gasoline should the pipeline become compromised.
The San Bernardino Chapter of the American Red Cross initially learned of the train derailment on commercial radio about 8:43 a.m. At that time,