Train derailment cleanup begins


by Johnny Archer

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 30 at 3:08 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Crews began the cleanup process Tuesday morning a day after a train derailed in southwestern Jefferson County near West Point, Ky.

R.J. Corman, headquartered in Lexington, Ky, has been contracted to remove the derailed cars and replace the tracks that are damaged.

"Heavy moving equipment was brought to the site Monday night and other materials were brought in Tuesday," said the Vice President of Finance & Administration for R.J. Corman, Noel Rush, "The crash site area will be a challenge because the terrain is so close to the Ohio River."

Rush also said that the company will have the site cleaned and the tracks operational by Thursday or Friday.

Several federal and state agencies remain at the scene of the accident. The cause of the crash is under investigation. But a tanker that had been leaking Butadiene, a highly toxic and flammable chemical  liquid, was contained late Monday night.

Since then, officials say the surrounding area is safe and air monitoring results have all been negative from the immediate derailment site. A Code Red alert was lifted within a two-mile radius around the crash. But 12 homes in the Abbotts Beach Road area remain evacuated as of Tuesday afternoon. Emergency officials say people who live in those homes will most likely not be allowed to return to them within 24 hours.

Dixie Highway and Highway 44 remains closed for an indefinite amount of time.

"Dixie Highway is being used to transport cleanup equipment to and from the crash site," said Maj. Luke Goodin, with the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department. 

Paducah & Louisville Railway, Inc. owns the 57-rail-car load, which had 13 cars derail off the track.

“P&L deeply appreciates the hard work and professionalism of all emergency responders, including fire and police that responded to this incident,” said P&L President, Tom Garrett, in a written statement to WHAS 11 News.

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