EVACUATIONS ORDERED AS HAZMAT TEAMS INVESTIGATE “LEAKING SUBSTANCES”
|| By FITSNEWS || A Norfolk Southern train derailed in rural Edgefield County, S.C. late Friday.
Early reports indicate two locomotives and nearly three dozen cars jumped the tracks after striking a tree that had fallen into their path. The derailment triggered an evacuation order from county emergency management officials – who urged residents living within a mile-and-a-half radius of the crash site to relocate to a nearby church.
As of Saturday morning, the evacuation had been lifted for all but four homes.
The derailment occurred at around 8:40 p.m. EDT on Friday evening near the intersection of Highway 121 and Salters Pond Road in Trenton, S.C.
No one was injured in the crash – although a hazardous materials crew from neighboring Aiken County was dispatched to the scene to determine the nature of a “leaking substance.” That crew was shortly joined by a hazardous materials crew from Norfolk Southern.
Sources familiar with the investigation told FITS as many as three cars were leaking – two of which were carrying non-hazardous materials. The third car was reportedly carrying anhydrous ammonia – a nitrogen-based fertilizer component which is exceedingly dangerous.
South Carolina is no stranger to train derailments. In November 2013, an Amtrak passenger train derailed about six miles southwest of Spartanburg, S.C. – although no cars overturned and none of the 218 passengers and crew were injured.
A little over a decade ago – at 2:40 a.m. on January 6, 2005 – a Norfolk Southern train was mistakenly diverted onto the wrong track in Graniteville, S.C., causing it to crash into a parked rail car full of chlorine. All told 11,500 gallons of chlorine leaked out.
That crash left nine people dead and more than 250 injured.