ACID FROM TRAIN WRECK LEAKS INTO NEARBY RIVER
(P2) For almost three days, emergency services have been trying to reach the site near Julia Creek where the train carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulphuric acid derailed.
(P3) Police said it was possible that 31,500 litres of the acid leaked from the train after it derailed 20 kilometres east of the OUTBACK town on Sunday.
(P5) Bad weather continues to HAMPER efforts by emergency authorities to access the site.
(P6) Inspector Trevor Kidd from the Mount Isa Police said authorities were looking at strategies to NEUTRALIZE the acid.
(P7) Police said drones and other technology were being used to help with access, MONITORING, and mapping of the crash site.
(P8) Police said the Flinders Highway remained closed in both directions between Julia Creek and Richmond.
(P9) They said the two-kilometre EXCLUSION ZONE would be in place for least another 48 hours.
(P10) Queensland Rail spokesman Chris Keye said that the group was working to restore rail services on the Mount Isa line as quickly as possible.
(P11) He said there were plans to build a temporary rail track around the derailment site near Julia Creek.
(P12) Mr Keye said the CONTINGENCY PLANS could see services restored by next week.
(P13) Mr Keye said more than 50 Queensland Rail staff would be ON-SITE, with many staff returning early from their holidays in order to help.
(P15) The company said the sulphuric acid was used in the MANUFACTURING process for ammonium phosphate fertilizers at that IPL plant, and was a regular purchase for that operation.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Students in CHEMISTRY classes learn that sulphuric acid is highly dangerous. Did you take chemistry class in high school or university? Did you enjoy it?
- Does your country have an extensive network of passenger and freight railroads? Have you traveled by train?
- The Australian outback is a very empty and REMOTE area of that country. What are the most remote and least populated areas in your country?
- Have you ever been involved in a public emergency situation? What happened?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Sulphuric acid
- Freight train
- Exclusion zone
- Contingency plan