A Norfolk Southern train derailed in McDowell County on Friday morning. A tanker car is reportedly leaking asphalt into Elkhorn Creek.
On Friday morning, a 111-car train derailed in McDowell County, just feet away from a neighborhood.
No one was injured but non-hazardous materials continue to leak out of the cars into Elkhorn Creek.
The train, headed to North Carolina and more than a mile long, consisted of 3 locomotives. 17 of the 111 cars derailed.
Director of Homeland Security for the State of West Virginia, Jimmy Gianato, told us more.
"Several of those were tank cars with placards showing hazardous materials. Once we determined it was no real imminent threat to the public then we allowed traffic to continue on route 52," Gianato said.
Officials also assured community members there is no need for evacuation.
A Vivian resident who lives less than a football field away from the train tracks described what he heard at 8 a.m.
"Something woke me up, I heard the engines go by but I didn't think much of it. Halfway through the train I was expecting the next set of engines to come through but instead I heard "bang! bang! boom! bang!" and I thought, no, that's not right," said neighbor Ervin Thompson.
While standing in the neighbor's backyard, the smell of the asphalt was very thick. Authorities have already laid down tarp to try to contain it as much as they can.
"What's leaked is leaked and the tanks continue to leak and there's no real safe way to pass those cars so we've got dikes up and dams up to keep the product from going further into the stream and into the water downtown," Gianato said.
Norfolk Southern Police is investigating the cause of this derailment.
Norfolk Southern estimates the tracks to be cleared by 3 p.m. Saturday.
McDowell County Emergency Services reported Dec. 27 that a Norfolk Southern train derailed in McDowell County in the Kimball area along Route 52 toward Vivian and Landgraff. The derailment was reported to emergency services at 8:29 a.m.
Initially it was reported that nine cars derailed including a tanker car. McDowell County Emergency Services has updated the number of cars involved at 10:15 a.m. to a total of 17 cars that derailed, including two tanker cars. Firefighters who were at the scene reported to Norfolk Southern that one of the tanker cars was hauling asphalt and the fluid was leaking into Elkhorn Creek. A hazardous material team was called in from Charleston to help with the cleanup.
Norfolk Southern officials said that the train was 7,000 feet long, which is more than a mile. It included three locomotives and 111 cars. It was headed from Bellevue, Ohio to Linwood, N.C.
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