State

No sulfuric acid leaked from 24 train cars that derailed in Falmouth

A train carrying a hazardous chemical has derailed in Falmouth in Pendleton County, forcing the evacuation of an elementary school along with a portion of town, according to city leaders and various reports.
A train carrying a hazardous chemical has derailed in Falmouth in Pendleton County, forcing the evacuation of an elementary school along with a portion of town, according to city leaders and various reports. Photo provided by The Falmouth Outlook

Some Falmouth residents were told to stay inside and some were evacuated Wednesday after a train with four cars carrying sulfuric acid derailed in Pendleton County.

The danger passed after about four hours when it was determined no sulfuric acid leaked, according to Pendleton County Emergency Management. All streets except those nearest the derailment were reopened. No one was injured.

CSX said it could not immediately estimate how long clean up of the derailment will take.

The train was traveling from Cincinnati to Atlanta and derailed near Woodson Street at about 10:40 a.m., according to CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost. The train was transporting 76 loaded cars and 49 empty cars.

Of the 24 cars that derailed, four had sulfuric acid, according to CSX.

Because officials didn’t initially know whether hazardous materials had been released from the cars, Southern Elementary school and a portion of town were evacuated, according to city leaders and various reports.

People in homes and businesses within a half mile of the derailment also were told to shelter in place, according to Kentucky Emergency Management.

CSX and Falmouth officials are determining how to remove the cars safely, a CSX press release said.

Affected residents can go to the CSX Community Outreach Center in Pendleton County High School’s auditorium lobby, or call 800-311-4031, a press release said.

Sulfuric acid can cause severe skin burns, and irritate or damage eyes and lungs.

Wednesday night update

Wednesday night, CSX said in a press release that they will reimburse Falmouth residents for expenses related to the derailment, including out-of-pockets expenses, lost wages and business interruption. To be reimbursed, residents must bring purchase receipts and other documentation, a government-issued identification and proof of residency. CSX was finalizing a mail-in process Wednesday night, a press release said.

The press release said CSX and area first responders, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency worked together to clean up the scene on Woodson Street in Falmouth.

Removal of derailed cars began around 9 p.m. Wednesday and will continue through the night, the press release said. CSX said in the release that nearby residents may hear loud noises from the cleanup.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

Pendleton County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post that two dumpsters will be set up near the end of Woodson Road so residents can throw away spoiled, unrefrigerated food due to extended power outages caused by the train derailment.

Falmouth citizens with questions can call the CSX Falmouth derailment hotline at 1 (800) 331-4031, the press release said.

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