Local News

Train Derailment Could Have Caused Environmental Crisis

Posted July 26, 1999

— Hazardous materials are all around us, transported by trucks, boats and trains. CSX workers are almost finished cleaning upMonday's train derailmentthat was close to becoming an environmental nightmare.

A rail car carrying hazardous materials was just two cars down from the CSX wreckage. Had it been involved in the accident, nearby residents would have been in serious danger. Cumberland County authorities say that worst case scenario could strike Fayetteville.

"It could very well happen," says fire marshal Ricky Strickland. "If you look up and down Interstate 95 and the railroad tracks, the types of hazardous materials that are on the roads and tracks today are astronomical."

Although this train derailment could have easily turned into an environmental nightmare, that is what Fayetteville-area HAZMAT teams prepare for.

"We have rail car specialists trained to respond to emergencies involved in rail cars and tanker vehicles, such as tanker vehicles, such as your gasoline tankers, or your other hazardous substances carried in tankers," says HAZMAT coordinator Benny Nichols.

Cumberland County hazardous materials workers say it is training they hope they never have to use.

CSX workers are still fixing a one-mile stretch of track that was destroyed in Monday's accident. They hope to have that repaired by Wednesday.

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