CSX probes Monday train derailment

Published 11:25 am Friday, February 13, 2009

SEABOARD—CSX officials are investigating what caused a freight train to derail just west of here on Monday.

According to CSX spokesperson Garrick Francis, the investigation is ongoing as of Wednesday morning and efforts to clean-up petroleum oil that leaked from one of the cars have been made.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday, 19 cars of a 94-car CSX freight train derailed just west of the Seaboard town limits. No injuries were reported.

CSX confirmed one of the derailed cars was carrying petroleum oil and the oil did leak onto the ground.

CSX officials insisted the oil is not hazardous.

Francis said CSX investigators will be looking into several factors that led to the derailment, including track conditions, the state of the train’s cars and the operation of the train itself. He said the lengths of investigations typically vary, but the investigation into the cause of the Seaboard derailment could be finished by the end of next week.

The clean-up at the scene is continuing and crews have made progress.

Francis said the petroleum oil contaminated dirt has been removed and placed in barrels lined with plastic.

A main highway (N.C. 186) in the area has been reopened to motorists.

“Shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday night our mainline and Highway 186 were reopened,” said Francis.

Francis said the cars of the train have been lifted off the tracks and placed to the side, allowing the mainline to be reopened.

After the derailment on Monday, various local fire departments, emergency personnel as well as a hazmat team responded to the scene.

The derailment forced the closure of N.C. 186 in the area as well as the evacuation of two residences. Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent said those homes were evacuated as a precaution.