BREA — Three Southern Pacific tanker cars derailed Wednesday, spilling hundreds of gallons of liquid fertilizer and spoiling the day for about 70 golfers who were evacuated from the Birch Hills Golf Course, authorities said.
"I was in here and heard the train making a lot of noise," said Jeff Giacomi, an employee in the course's golf shop. "I went to the window and saw the train bouncing up and down and then . . . I saw the train falling on its side."
The golf course was evacuated as a precaution while fire officials determined what was leaking from the tankers. The substance was eventually identified as urea ammonium nitrate solution, a harmless liquid fertilizer, said Brea Fire Battalion Chief William Simpkins. Each tanker contained about 17,000 gallons of the compound.
"There were a lot of people around here on the driving range and on the practice green," said Jay Prestella, an assistant golf pro. "They'll get rain checks."