Train derailment leaks chemicals

No injuries reported from Burke County wreck

MIDVILLE, Ga. -- Authorities on Monday continued to clean the scene of Sunday's 38-car derailment in southern Burke County.


"We will be working overnight to rerail the remaining cars or moving them off the railroad track so we can clear the tracks," said Susan Terpay, a spokeswoman for Norfolk Southern Railway. "The next step will be to repair those tracks because often tracks are damaged in a derailment."

Families in 27 homes in Midville were evacuated because of the derailment after 5 p.m. Sunday. The train had 90 railcars.

Terpay said that three of the derailed cars carried hazardous material and that chemicals were released.

"One of those cars was an empty chlorine car. There was a hairline fracture in the car. We applied a patch over that fracture," she said.

Terpay said that although the car was empty, there was still residue in it.

"So there's still some chlorine that is in the car. So we're going to pump that chlorine. It is a process where we turn that chlorine into bleach," she said.

The two other chemicals were sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, a powdery dust that is the base ingredient in Oxyclean, and methyl ethyl ketone, which is similar to model airplane glue.

No injuries have been reported, she said.

Terpay said the railroad has set up a claims center at the Midville Community Center. People who were evacuated from their homes can come to the center to be reimbursed for costs associated with their evacuation, she said.

"We apologize to the families for the inconvenience during the holidays. We're committed to handling the needs of the community through our claims center," she said.

No information has been released on what caused the train derailment.