Cargo Train Derails in Kentucky, Nearby Houses Evacuated

June 26, 2007

A train carrying hazardous materials through Kentucky derailed in an industrial park, but none of the materials leaked, authorities said.

The derailment at the Bluegrass Industrial Park in Louisville caused nearby homes to be evacuated for several hours on June 22. There were no reported injuries, police said.

Ten of the train’s 107 cars were derailed. The Norfolk Southern train was traveling from Buckeye, Ohio, to St. Louis, when it went off the track, said company spokesman Robin Chapman.

Four of the derailed cars contained phenol, a white crystalline substance that can burn the skin on contact, but they remained intact, Chapman said.

Two of the derailed cars were carrying automobiles. A car containing plastic pellets did break open, but the pellets did not pose an environmental threat, Chapman said. The other three cars were empty.

Authorities evacuated homes within a half-mile radius of the site, said Chris Thomas, a dispatcher with the Jeffersontown Police Department.

The evacuation order was lifted around 8 p.m., but a road near the site of the derailment remained closed, police said.

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