20 September 2001 23:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--US chemical tanker truck operators are taking steps to ensure the security of their equipment and reliability of personnel in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks, a leading operator said Thursday.
Tom Finkbiner, president and chief executive of Tampa, Florida-based Quality Distribution, told CNI today his firm has submitted the names of its 4000 drivers and some 1100 other personnel to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to be checked against the names of nearly 200 persons the FBI is seeking in connection with the attacks.
Quality Distribution's 4000 tractors and 8000 tank cars move nearly 11m tonne/year of chemicals products between major US cities. It is the leading US chemicals trucking firm.
Concern about the security of chemical tank trucks - which typically carry 18 tonne of chemicals cargo - was raised today by reports that among those being sought by the FBI is a man who is licensed to drive hazardous cargoes by truck.
FBI officials in Washington, DC also have issued alerts to US fire departments and ambulance services nationwide, cautioning that their vehicles could be stolen for use in terrorist attacks. Fire-fighting trucks in particular pose a risk because many have a large cargo capacity - their water tanks - and typically are given unhindered access to almost any facility.
Finkbiner said he has received no specific alert from the FBI or other US authorities concerning special precautions for chemical tank trucks. But he said his firm appointed a director of security this week and dispatched the employees list to the FBI on its own initiative.
"Before last week, we didn't have a director of security," Finkbiner said.
Quality Distribution's tankers serve principally those cities east of the Mississippi River, especially high-concentration chemical production areas including Houston, Chicago, Illinois and various points in New Jersey.
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