Train carrying crude cargo explodes, spilling oil in rural Alabama
A 90-car train derailed and exploded in rural Alabama early Friday, spilling its crude oil cargo into the surrounding wetlands and igniting a fire so intense that officials said it will take 24 hours to burn out. No one was injured.
The train was crossing a timber trestle above a wetland near Aliceville late Thursday when 20 railcars and two of three locomotives derailed. Earlier reports said fewer cars had derailed.
On Friday morning, about 10 train cars were burning, according to a statement from train owner Genesee & Wyoming.
Emergency responders decided to let the cars burn out. Though the bridge is also burning, the fire is contained, officials said.
Scott Hughes, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, told the Los Angeles Times that the oil has spilled into the wetlands area.
“Typically wetlands are a sanctuary for a variety of different types of aquatic species, so once we're able to get in and assess environmental impacts, we'll certainly look at any impacts to aquatic organisms and other types of wildlife,” Hughes said.
There are extensive wetlands near Aliceville, according to the state's Forestry Commission website.
Hughes said that it's difficult to determine how much oil has been spilled, because responders can't get close to the fire. Hughes said his agency checked the drinking water wells in the area, and there will be no effect on the water.
“The area's pretty rural. There's not a whole lot around,” Alabama Emergency Management spokesperson Yasamie August told the Times.
One family was evacuated, but has returned home, she said.
The Environmental Protection Agency has one person on scene overseeing the cleanup and monitoring of air quality to assess the impact of the crude oil spill, regional EPA spokesperson James Pinkney told the Times.
The train was en route from Amory, Miss., to Walnut Hill, Fla., according to the Genesee statement. It likely originated in North Dakota.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Houthis capture at least 4 U.S. citizens
- Nivolumab shines in fighting cancerous lung tumors in immunotherapy regimen
- Mind was ‘falling apart,’ Colorado theater killing suspect says
- H3N2 dog flu not cause for panic, experts say
- Legal battle over Brazilian emerald likely at end
- Thousands attend B.B. King viewing
- FBI says lab errors extend to 1999
- Texas waters yield 4 bodies as death toll climbs; rainfall records fall across state
- Anthrax shipments underreported
- Cuba removed from U.S. terrorism list
- Historic Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse moves inland