Almost a Worst-Case Scenario: The Baltimore Tunnel Fire of 2001 (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In the late afternoon on a hot day in July 2001, an accident under the streets of Baltimore threatens to turn into a disaster. Freight train with hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire in a tunnel that ran under one of the main streets of the city. Not only the tunnel accident blocking major north-south train route to the eastern United States, he has also released a cloud of possibly toxic vapors in the center of the street. Unbelievable, but first accident followed by a second break in the main water supply, just the area in which a cascade of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. It was a combination that city officials would say "everyone's worst nightmare." This case describes a blow by blow, and a meeting-by-meeting and public response to emergencies in the tunnel fire and its consequences. This is described in detail as a dozen different jurisdictions, including city, state and federal agencies, has had to find ways to coordinate their response to the lack of established procedures for dealing with a situation that has never been specifically addressed. Among the topics explored in this case of crisis management is the role of the local chief executive (Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley), conflict and cooperation among agencies (including and especially the fire and public works), and, more broadly, the question of how a number of important tactical decisions should be made in the absence of complete information (for example, the release of toxic substances). HKS Case Number 1767.0. "Hide
by Esther Scott, Herman Leonard B 11 pages. Publication Date: September 1, 2004. Prod. #: HKS231-PDF-ENG

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