Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 27, 2013

Hazardous material crews arrive on scene of train derailment in McDowell County

Efforts to contain hazmat spill in Elkhorn River continue

KIMBALL — Booms are in place to prevent the tar leaking from a ruptured Norfolk Southern tanker car from going any further down Elkhorn Creek, according to Jimmy Gianato, director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“Department of Environmental Protection personnel and Norfolk Southern Railway environmental people are here at the scene,” Gianato said. “The tar that is leaking from the tanker car was in a liquid state when it was being transported. Once it cools off, it starts to harden and can be easily removed.

“The real dangerous part is over now,” Gianato said. “We’re happy there were no injuries and we’re lucky it happened where it did, when it did.”

Gianato said that approximately 700 feet of track was damaged in the derailment and will have to be replaced.


(original story below)

KIMBALL — Seventeen cars from a train have derailed this morning in McDowell County, including a tanker car that is in the Elkhorn River, emergency officials said.

The derailment occurred near Kimball between the Vivian and Landgraff communities, according to John Sidote, a public information officer with the McDowell County 911 Emergency Communications Center.

At least 17 cars are involved in the derailment, including two tankers. One of the two tankers is in the Elkhorn Creek.

No evacuations have been ordered at this time, and U.S. Route 52 has not been closed at this time. Sidote said officials do not know what type of liquid the tanker car is carrying.

Regional hazardous material crews have been contacted, and are responding, including a team from Charleston, a Norfolk Southern team and a hazmat crew with the Welch Fire Department, along with the Kimball Volunteer Fire Department.

The tanker car in the Elkhorn River is believed to have a leak.

The county’s Emergency Services Office has opened, and is coordinating the response to the derailment.

More details as soon as they become available.

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