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Orangeburg, NY - Rockland County Train Crash Simulation Provides Training for Emergency Responders

Published on: July 24, 2015 10:33 AM
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One of the  volunteers who took part in an emergency response exercise on July 23, 2015 in Rockland County (sandy Eller/VINnews.com)One of the volunteers who took part in an emergency response exercise on July 23, 2015 in Rockland County (sandy Eller/VINnews.com)

Rockland County, NY - Over 35 agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise last night simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.

The exercise, which was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns.

“We have been planning this for months,” Rob Doolittle, director of communications and media relations at CSX, told VIN News.  “The county has really been driving this.”

The exercise involved a CSX Safety Train, which is owned by a private foundation and is used to provide educational opportunities for firefighters.

“It gets moved all over the country on the CSX network so that people can train on it,” said Doolitte.

Among the many participants in the exercise were New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Rockland County Department of Health, Rockland County Community Emergency Response Team, Rockland County Helicopter Emergency Lift Program, Rockland County HazMat,  Rockland County Local Emergency Planning Committee, CSX Transportation, United Water and Orange and Rockland Utilities.  Also participating were numerous ambulance corps and several police and fire departments.

Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura explained that the exercise provided multiple opportunities for various agencies and involved approximately 40 volunteer victims. 

“We are simulating what would happen if there was a collision at a crossing like this,” noted Van Cura.  “The Safety Train is designed to be able to be brought in like this and have people train on it in a safe environment so that if G-d forbid you have a real accident you are familiar with the train, how the brakes work and where the different controls are so that first responders can be safe when they respond to an emergency.”

Firefighters arriving on scene headed for the smoking train. Victims, who had been made up to simulate injuries sustained during the crash, began the drill spread out several yards away on the grass at the side of Western Highway, which was open only to emergency vehicles for the duration of the exercise.  Victims were triaged and treated, with some transported to area hospitals. 

Wesley Hills resident Moshe Zeigler, who will be starting tenth grade at Yeshiva University High School in September, was told he had sustained a laceration on his arm.  Ziegler hopes to become a volunteer firefighter one day.

“My father inspired me,” said Ziegler.  “He has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.”

Aaron Fried, a fellow student at Yeshiva University High School, was sporting a significant gash on his left hand.  He too aspires to fight fires.

“I fell in love with the fire department,” said the twelfth grader. “I love the thrill of working with the fire department and helping people.”

Both Ziegler and Fried are members of Rockland County Explorer Post 44, a youth organization that prepares young adults ages 14 to 21 for life inside the fire department.

While today’s exercises may have been simulated, the dangers are very real, according to John Nashmy, deputy coordinator of the Borough of Bergenfield’s Office of Emergency Management who noted that many of these trains are carrying hazardous materials.

“It is good information as far as response,” said Nashmy.  “Knowing what you are dealing with and the actions you have to take definitely promotes awareness in case the real thing hits.  CSX has been invaluable in putting this together.”

35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)
35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)35 New York agencies and dozens of volunteers took part in an emergency response exercise July 23, 2015 simulating a crash between a freight train carrying crude oil and a vehicle in the Rockland County town of Orangeburg.  The exercise, was held on the CSX rail line at the Highview Avenue crossing from 6 to 9:30 PM, came in response to the increasing number of lengthy trains which pass through four out of five of Rockland’s towns. (Credit: Sandy Eller/VINnews)

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