Bourbon County

Train derailment in Paris dumps coal into Stoner Creek

Three cars from a CSX train ended up in Stoner Creek after a 100-car train derailed in Paris about 3:30 a.m. Monday. The cars were removed by Monday night.
Three cars from a CSX train ended up in Stoner Creek after a 100-car train derailed in Paris about 3:30 a.m. Monday. The cars were removed by Monday night. Herald-Leader

Work crews planned to install a line to bypass a sewer main that might have been damaged when a CSX train derailed into a creek in Paris early Monday, a city fire official said.

The CSX railroad will be responsible for cleaning up the coal that was dumped into Stoner Creek when three cars on the 100-car train derailed about 3:30 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

No injuries were reported, and site cleanup was underway. The cars had been removed by Monday night.

"It is a water quality violation, and we will have CSX get the coal out of the creek," said Robbie Francis, environmental response manager in the state Division of Waste Management. The division had a representative on the scene in Paris.

Francis said he had no estimate of how much coal got into the water.

The coal should not pose any immediate environmental hazard to the creek, Francis said.

Of more immediate concern was a 15-inch sewer line that might have been damaged when the derailment occurred.

The derailing cars landed on top of the sewer line, which carries about 60 percent of the sewage from Paris, fire department Battalion Chief Michael Duffy said.

"The sewer line has been compromised," Duffy said.

Several repair options were considered, he said. As of about 3 p.m. the plan was for contractors to start installing a bypass line around the possibly damaged sewer pipe as soon as the rail cars were removed.

Authorities think soil under the tracks gave way, causing the derailment. An alarm was set off in the engine at the front of the coal train when the cars derailed. The engineer stopped the train and walked back along the tracks to investigate, Duffy said.

Repair crews were installing new rails Monday afternoon alongside those that were damaged, Duffy said.

One or more of the derailed coal cars struck a low-water dam in Stoner Creek, which is the water source for the city of Paris, according to Francis.

"The city water plant is upstream from there, so we don't have any concern at this time that it's going to affect their water source, or that anything is going to happen to the dam," he said.

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