A railroad company is promising hotel rooms and Thanksgiving meals for people asked to evacuate a small Kentucky town after a train derailed, catching fire and spilling chemicals
ByThe Associated Press
November 23, 2023, 9:43 AM
LIVINGSTON, Ky. — A railroad company promised hotel rooms and Thanksgiving meals for people asked to evacuate a small Kentucky town after a train derailed, catching fire and spilling chemicals.
The CSX train derailed around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near Livingston, a remote town with about 200 people in Rockcastle County.
Two of the 16 cars that derailed carried molten sulfur, which caught fire after the cars were breached, CSX said in a statement.
Crews were still working to extinguish the fire Thursday morning, the company said.
CSX promised to pay the costs of anyone asked to evacuate, including a holiday dinner.
It’s believed that the fire is releasing sulfur dioxide, but officials have not released results of measurements taken from air monitoring equipment that was being deployed Wednesday night.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems, depending on the concentration and length of exposure. The gas is commonly produced by burning fossil fuels at power plants and other industrial processes, the EPA says.
WKYT-TV reported that one crew member was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in the county, assuring crews all the help from the state they need. He asked the public to keep in mind the emergency workers and people forced to spend Thanksgiving away from home.
“Please think about them and pray for a resolution that gets them back in their homes. Thank you to all the first responders spending this day protecting our people,” the governor said in a statement Thursday.