Health officials say air safe again in Paulsboro

Officials say it’s safe to go outside again in Paulsboro, N.J. Residents were ordered to stay inside and schools were shut down Monday morning after the level of vinyl chloride in the air rose three days after a train derailment ruptured a tanker car carrying the gas.

By 11 a.m., a group of agencies lifted the sheltering order, saying the air was safe again.

Short-term exposure to vinyl chloride is linked to problems such as breathing trouble and dizziness.

NTSB 1 p.m update

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National Transportation Safety Board chairman Deborah Hersman said a preliminary assessment of the accident indicate there were mechanical problems with the train bridge before Friday’s derailment.

Hersman said a day before the accident a train crew reported that the bridge over Mantua Creek, which opens and closes for boat traffic, failed to close.

She says when the train that derailed pulled up just before 7 a.m. Friday, the bridge signal light was red. That could be an indication that it was not locked into place. The crew walked the bridge and were later given permission by a bridge operator to cross over.

NewsWorks Carolyn Beeler will have more on this later today.

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