The National Transportation Safety Board is planning a hearing to gather facts about a November train derailment in New Jersey that caused a noxious gas to be released into the air.

The hearing is scheduled for Washington on July 9 and 10. and be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, DC, beginning at 9 a.m. The hearing is open to the public.

A vapor cloud

On November 30, 2012, at approximately 7 a.m. (EST), a southbound Conrail freight train, consisting of two locomotives and 82 cars, derailed seven cars while traveling over a moveable bridge spanning Mantua Creek in Paulsboro, N.J.

Four tank cars, three containing vinyl chloride and one containing ethanol, came to rest in Mantua Creek. One of the derailed tank cars was breached and released approximately 20,000 gallons of vinyl chloride into the creek and surrounding area.

No fatalities resulted from the accident; the train conductor and several residents were treated at local hospitals for exposure to vinyl chloride and released. According to Conrail, the initial estimated equipment damage, which does not include environmental remediation, is $450,654.

Parties to the investigative hearing are: Consolidated Rail Corportation (Conrail), State of New Jersey (Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Health), Borough of Paulsboro (Police and Fire Departments and Office of Emergency Management), Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, United Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, United Transportation Union and U.S. Coast Guard.

The derailment analysis along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause will be provided when the investigation is completed and adopted by the Board later this year.

Information provided by AP Wire and NTSB