Environment
1:09 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Work to Resume Tuesday to Drain Chemicals at Derailment Site

Crews working at the site of a train derailment in southwestern Jefferson County plan to drain hazardous chemicals from the tankers on Tuesday.

Beginning at 6 a.m., Dixie Highway from Highway 44 to the bridge at Salt River will be closed, and there will be a half-mile evacuation put into effect, and all residents of Katherine Station Road and Abbots Beach Road will also be evacuated. Air traffic won’t be allowed within half a mile of the site, and river traffic will be stopped.

During the day, the crews will offload two chemicals: hydrogen fluoride and butadiene. Hydrogen fluoride is an extremely dangerous corrosive gas, which can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with human skin. Butadiene is flammable—an entire car spilled during the accident, and the remaining chemical exploded and caused a fire the week of the accident.

In the two weeks since the derailment, much of the danger at the site has come from work to stabilize the cars. Now that they’re stabilized, the offloading of the hydrogen fluoride and butadiene is expected to be routine, but MetroSafe is still taking safeguards.

Only one car of butadiene and one of hydrogen fluoride will be offloaded tomorrow. Beginning Wednesday, crews will do work on the remaining butadiene, hydrogen fluoride and sodium hydroxide cars. The evacuation, air and water traffic restrictions will remain in place until all of the work is done.

From MetroSafe:

Paducah and Louisville Railroad continues to have two outreach centers open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday by appointment, for making and following up on claims.  First time mileage reimbursement claims only: VFW Post 1181, 6518 Blevins Gap Road, Louisville, KY 40272 and all other claims:  Music Ranch USA building, 409 South Street, West Point, KY 40177.

P&L is visiting each of the 31 homes to be evacuated and providing them with pre-paid hotel information; further, evacuated residents are receiving $100 per day per adult and $50 per day per child to help compensate for the inconvenience, and P&L will reimburse them for other expenses, during the evacuation period. 

Those affected by the road closure are being compensated as follows:  generally, those living outside a five-mile radius of the derailment site who must commute around the road closure for work will receive a payment of $50 for this second road closure period; those living within a five-mile radius of the derailment site will be compensated according to their individual circumstances. Individuals who already have made a detour mileage claim for the first road closure will be contacted by Railway Claim Services officials. Those who have not made detour mileage claims to date may call 800-786-5204 for information about how to file a claim.

P&L Railway also has established a hotline for questions about issues other than claims: 866-728-9210.