Clean-Up Continues Following Sunday Train Derailment in Mt. VernonMt. Vernon Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Sergeant says no evacuation was necessary when eight cars of a Norfolk Southern Freight Train derailed Sunday morning. The derailment occurred at 6:25 am in the area of Liberty Road and Rackaway on the city's southside.
One of the rail cars containing ethanol had a valve on the top of the car break during the derailment, spilling 3,400 to 5,000 gallons of the chemical. The Mt. Vernon Fire Department's Hazardous Materials team were able to plug the leak so cleanup could begin. He reports the chemical is extremely flamable and can cause breathing concerns during warm weather as fumes are put off during evaporation. However, with the cold weather conditions on Sunday no evacuation was necessary.
The derailment did close off Liberty Road at the dog pound and Perkins at Shawnee for most of the day on Sunday. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation There were no injuries.
Sergeant says the Illinois EPA was called in to supervise the cleanup. In addition to the cleanup, Norfolk Southern also brought in crews to repair the tracks. He expects the cleanup could take several days to complete.
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