Kentucky Community Evacuates Due to Hazardous Chemical Release from Train Derailment


Rail operator CSX verified on Thursday that the chemical fire that resulted from a train derailing in Kentucky had been completely extinguished. 

This development allowed the safe return of evacuated residents to their homes, as stated by CSX spokesperson Bryan Tucker in an email.

The incident occurred near Livingston, a remote town in Rockcastle County, prompting the evacuation of the area after a CSX train derailed around 2:30 pm on Wednesday.

CSX reports indicate that among the 16 train cars that derailed, two specifically contained molten sulfur. These particular cars caught fire subsequent to being breached or damaged in the incident.

There were concerns about the potential release of sulfur dioxide, a potentially harmful gas, but specific measurements from air monitoring equipment deployed on Wednesday night have yet to be disclosed by officials.

Expressing gratitude for the efforts of first responders, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear assured the public that although work remains, the families in Livingston can now celebrate Thanksgiving at home, following the containment of the situation.

Evacuation’s Toll on Kentucky Residents

Rail operator CSX verified on Thursday that the chemical fire that resulted from a train derailing in Kentucky had been completely extinguished.

However, many inhabitants of Kentucky experienced severe disruption and misery as a result of the forced evacuation, leading to unrest and increased worry.

Cindy Bradley and Linda Todd, among others, found themselves abruptly leaving their homes during Thanksgiving preparations due to the urgency of the situation. Reports from evacuees highlighted the confusion and concern among those forced to leave amidst the ongoing emergency.

Sulfur dioxide, known for causing respiratory issues based on exposure levels, raised health concerns, especially for vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and individuals with asthma. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has underscored the dangers associated with prolonged exposure to this gas, originating primarily from industrial processes.

Governor Beshear declared a state of emergency in Rockcastle County and urged support for emergency workers and displaced residents, emphasizing the need for resolution and the swift return of individuals to their homes. 

Additionally, CSX pledged to cover the expenses of evacuees, including providing Thanksgiving meals, in a bid to ease the burden caused by this unexpected disruption.

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