Residents evacuate, crews begin chemical clean-up following derailment

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by Johnny Archer

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 3:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Clean-up crews began offloading hazardous materials from the derailed rail cars in Southwest Jefferson County Tuesday morning.

During the offloading process, homes within a half mile radius of the derailment have been evacuated. Emergency management officials say that 31 homes are located in the evacuated area and all residents had to be out of the homes by 6:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews plan to offload two cars per day, beginning with the butadiene and the hydrogen fluoride tankers. It takes about eight hours to offload the chemicals from each car. There are a total of six cars that contain hazardous materials, which include butadiene, hydrogen fluoride and sodium hydroxide. Emergency management officials say each butadiene tanker contains about 30,000 gallons of the chemical and each hydrogen fluoride tanker contains about 25,000 gallons. Officials expect to have the chemicals completely removed from the site in three to four days.

Until then, Dixie Highway will be closed from Highway 44 to the Salt River Bridge. Residents within the evacuation zone will be allowed to return home once the chemicals are completely removed.
 

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