Train derails in Mt. Vernon

7:39 PM, Dec 30, 2012   |    comments
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Mt. Vernon, Ill. (KSDK) -- A train derailed around 6:30 AM Sunday in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Eight cars ended up off the track. The train was headed for Indiana.

One of the cars began leaking ethanol.

"Once they [first responders] arrived at the leaking tank car, they realized that a valve had busted on top of the car. So they were able to plug that valve and stop the flow of the ethanol out onto the ground," says Mt. Vernon Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Sargent.

Some who live nearby didn't know what had happened.

"It was this morning a tremor laying in bed. I just figured it was down at the trains," says Tom Foreman. "My wife came home from General Tire and said they were all over there with the preparedness people getting emergency crews and everything out. I thought it was just a safety measure. I didn't know it was a derailment."

Sargent says cleanup will take some time.

"Several hours just to get the tracks cleared, get the cars off the tracks, and then it'll take hours to repair the tracks before they get trains moving. But the total cleanup will be days."

As bad as it looks, Sargent said it could have been much worse, especially environmentally. He says the weather worked in their favor.

"Thankfully the cold weather was on our side this morning and kept the vapors of the ethanol pretty much quelled to an area that we could contain."

There were no injuries, and no homes or businesses had to be evacuated.

At this point, no word on what caused the derailment, but it's still early in the investigation.











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