This month, just outside of Lexington, two Norfolk Southern Railroad freight trains smashed into one another and derailed. The accident occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. on March 19 in Georgetown. The collision injured four people, and the subsequent fire caused police to order nearby residents to evacuate their homes.
A lieutenant with the Lexington Fire Department said that the evacuations were done "out of an abundance of caution."
After the initial impact, the locomotives and an additional 13 cars derailed. A fire broke out, which spurred the authorities to evacuate those living near the derailment. It was first thought that spillage from the wreck could contain hazardous chemicals but a later report revealed that it was diesel fuel and vegetable oil.
The Scott County Schools superintendent was asked by police to open local schools to house the evacuees until they were able to return home.
Personnel with the R.J. Corman Railroad Company and Norfolk Southern Railroad worked through the following day to clear the site of debris from the derailment.
Investigators continue the process of determining the cause of the derailment.
When trains derail in a community, the residents are at risk as well as those riding aboard the train. While there was no hazardous substance leaked in this most recent train mishap, the risk of exposure to toxins is real.
If you or your children suffer adverse effects after a train derailment in your area, you can pursue a claim for civil damages. Should the insurance carrier deny or low-ball your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you need and deserve.
Source: The Washington Post, "The Latest: Norfolk Southern clearing derailed freight cars," Associated Press, March 19, 2018