Chemical Train Derails in TX

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 @ 11:03 AM gHale

This time it was not oil, but a chemical spill as 12 cars from a BNSF train derailed near Valley Mills, TX, Saturday.

The next day, crews started to clean up the industrial solvent that leaked from one of the tankers, said Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson.

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No injuries or fires resulted from the derailment Saturday evening, Wilson said.

Residents of about four homes ended up evacuated as a precaution, but returned home at 9 p.m. Saturday.

A hazardous materials team was working on the cleanup Sunday, Wilson said. The derailed cars are off the track and crews were repairing the damaged track and a bridge.

The cleanup will wrap up when conditions are drier, officials said.

First responders first thought methanol was leaking from one car after the derailment, but later determined the chemical was dimethylformamide, which can cause nausea and vomiting if inhaled.

About 7,000 gallons of the flammable liquid spilled, but it has been contained and poses no threat, BNSF Railway spokesman Joe Faust said Sunday.

The cleanup should be finished by late Sunday night, he said.

The cause of the derailment has not been determined. Heavy rain Saturday night made it difficult for crews to reach the scene, Wilson said.

The 12 cars left the tracks and overturned at around 5 p.m. Saturday. Five of the cars were carrying what authorities said was methanol, a type of alcohol that can be dangerous if ingested. Seven other cars were carrying oil-well pipes that spilled all over the tracks.

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