Cranes brought in at derailment site to help clean up efforts


by WHAS11 / Associated Press

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 2:56 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- On the fourth day of dealing with a train derailment that has become a hazmat situation that led to the evacuation of a five mile area, emergency managers are placing blame on P & L Railroad for giving them inaccurate information.

It was only supposed to burn for 90 minutes, now 2 days later the fire at the train derailment site near West Point, Ky. continues to burn.

Doug Hamilton of Louisville's emergency management agency said Friday that the evacuation of an area 1.2 miles around the site will remain in place indefinitely. The fire that started Wednesday continues to burn.
Officials said they are letting the chemical blaze burn while they undertake the difficult task of moving a dozen derailed cars away from the flaming tanker. Of particular concern are two tankers closest to the fire that contain dangerous hydrogen fluoride.

"We will determine what is the best approach on each individual car and what equipment we use. We also have pipe-laying machines called side booms that can go in and pick the cars up," said Gerald Gupton, spokesman with P & L Railroad.
Art Smith of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says water and air samples continue to show there are no immediate concerns about contamination.

"The state of the environment is good and we expect that to remain so pending anything unusual at the wreck site," said Art Smith with the U.S. EPA regarding soil, air and water which has been tested around the clock.
The "Shelter in Place" order has been lifted, but people living within a 1.2 mile radius still can't return home.

One of the tankers filled with the chemical styrene has been emptied and is ready to be removed. Workers are bringing in cranes to help with removal efforts as clean up continues at the site Friday.

WHAS11’s Gene Kang was at the site Friday morning and has the latest information, just click the video player above.

Click here to see images of Monday's derailment.

Interview: Mike Raisor, JCPS Chief Operations Officer

WHAS11 talked to Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar about the dangers of chemicals after the train derailment, click here to watch.