The Baltimore City Howard Street Tunnel Fire

1200 Words5 Pages
The Baltimore City Howard Street Tunnel Fire and ICS
Paul H. Bilger Jr
American Military University/ American Public University System

Abstract
The Howard Street Tunnel fire that occurred on 18 July, 2001 was a serious emergency incident that had the potential to become a catastrophic incident. On the day in question 10 cars out of a 60 car freight derailed causing a significant hazardous material spill, a subsequent fire, and a water main bursting due to the heat. Since the incident involved multiple levels of agency response all three levels of government were involved, spending around $12 million to clean up, and repair damage. Fortunately there were no fatalities, but a number of people were treated for numerous chemical related afflictions at area hospitals. The city of Baltimore was mostly prepared for the incident, and quickly initiated the incident command system (ICS) within minutes of arriving on the scene of the emergency. Despite being mostly prepared for the emergency there were several areas where responding agencies could improve on.
Keywords: Howard Street Tunnel fire, hazardous material, Incident Command System, Incident Commander, Span of Command, Command and control process The Howard Street Tunnel fire that occurred on July 18, 2001 was a serious emergency that required the participation of local, state, and federal governments in order to properly respond to the incident. The accident occurred in the 1.7 mile tunnel that is located anywhere from

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