Crime

Train derails in Lincoln County; no report of injuries

More than a dozen cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Lincoln County on July 11, 2011 near McKinney. Here, employees assess the damage and begin cleanup and repair work.  Bill Estep photo 7/11/2011.
More than a dozen cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Lincoln County on July 11, 2011 near McKinney. Here, employees assess the damage and begin cleanup and repair work. Bill Estep photo 7/11/2011.

GENEVA — Fourteen cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed in rural Lincoln County on Monday, but no injuries were reported and there was no damage to property off the railroad, authorities said.

Five of the cars contained hazardous material, but as far as officials knew late Monday afternoon nothing was leaking from them, said Don M. Gilliam, emergency management director in Lincoln County.

Some material, possibly Freon, escaped from one car, but it had dissipated by the time authorities arrived, Gilliam said.

The accident happened about 1:15 p.m. as the train, with 35 cars, headed south. Some of the cars tumbled down a steep embankment toward a creek, between the small communities of Geneva and McKinney.

Authorities initially encouraged residents to leave after the accident, but there was no mandatory evacuation. Some residents left, but others stayed throughout the day.

Later Monday, Gilliam said officials did not believe there was any danger from materials in the derailed cars.

One concern was that as crews lifted the cars, corrosive material might leak. That could threaten wildlife, Gilliam said.

He said hazardous-materials experts would be on the site, and if a threat developed, officials would know quickly and take measures to protect residents.

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