Kentucky Train Fire Still Burning

The chemical fires continued to burn in Bullitt County at the site of a CSX train derailment Wedensday, despite the use of 2,000 gallons of foam.

Zoneton Fire Department Maj. Garry Key said the fire is not under control despite the fact that some 60 firefighters worked to apply the foam, much of which was supplied by Louisville industrial sources.

Firefighters efforts continued after a train derailed in Bullitt County, Ky., causing a fiery scene on Tuesday.

The northbound CSX train derailed between Brooks and Shepherdsville, Ky., just south of the Jefferson-Bullitt County line on Huber Station Road near state road 1020.

CSX spokesman Gary Sease reported the train consisted of four locomotives and 80 cars headed from Birmingham, Ala., to Louisville.

Other cars involved in the fire were carrying the chemicals cyclohexane and ethyloxate, Bullitt County Emergency Management spokesman Jeremey Urekew said.

Both chemicals are volatile, but neither poses a serious health threat, Urekew said.

Two other cars were carrying hazardous materials that could pose an environmental threat, but they were not near the fire, he said.

He said 41 cars were loaded with freight and the rest were empty.

Art Smith of the Environmental Protection Agency said officials will continue to monitor the air and that a nearby creek will be sampled and private wells identified for monitoring.

Mark Rosenker, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the event recorder from the train would be sent to Washington for reading.

The track had been inspected by CSX inspectors on Monday, Rosenker said. Results of toxicology tests performed on the two-man crew were expected within two weeks, he said.

There were no preliminary indications as to what caused the crash, and fire officials said they will let the fire burn itself out.

A witness told WLKY that she was driving near the railroad tracks, and saw the train shake and then flip over.

She added that a "huge" explosion followed the crash.

The state is utilizing all of the resources at our disposal to provide support in response to the derailment, Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher said. Our priority continues to be the safety and security of the citizens in the area. We will aggressively monitor and evaluate the situation and do everything possible to ensure the fire is managed safely.

Previous Stories:

  • January 18, 2007: Train Crew: 'No Sign' Of Trouble Before Derailment
  • January 18, 2007: Officials Continue With Controlled Burn
  • January 18, 2007: Train Fire Still Burning
  • January 17, 2007: Federal Investigators Begin Derailment Inquiry
  • January 16, 2007: Alert Issued Following Train Derailment; Guard Unit Mobilized
  • January 16, 2007: Emergency Evacuation Center Opened