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Train derailed in Lugoff

Incident under investigation by CSX, KCSO

Posted: August 7, 2017 5:53 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2017 1:00 a.m.
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A freight train derailed near Lugoff early Saturday morning, sending a dozen cars off the track and damaging a building. No one was injured in the incident.

The incident occurred around 1 a.m. August 5, according to Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R) Chief Dennis Ray. LF-R crews were dispatched by Kershaw County 911 to respond to a reported cargo train derailment off U.S. 601 southbound towards Elgin on the CSX rail line. LF-R crews arrived in the area to find several cargo train cars derailed including a locomotive, hopper cars, and hazardous material tanker cars.

LF-R crews surveyed immediate neighboring residential areas and commercial properties for damage and indications of any immediate threats from the derailment. Twelve of 18 total cars on the train had derailed, including one of two locomotives. Major damage to the track had also occurred. One of the hopper rail cars derailed and caused damage to the Kenco Storage Warehouse near the CSX rail line. No injuries occurred and no hazardous materials were found to be leaking, Ray said. However, about 1,500 gallons of diesel leaked from the derailed locomotive and had to be cleaned up, according to LF-R officials. No one in the area was ever in any danger, according to LF-R officials.

“This was the best of a worst-case scenario our crews could face during a train derailment,” Ray stated in a press release. “Of special note is that an AMTRAK passenger train also uses the same track a few hours after the CSX cargo train passes. If the AMTRAK had derailed like the CSX did, this incident would have been much more tragic and difficult to manage. We were very fortunate on this one that it was a cargo train, no Haz-Mat leaked, no fire was present, no injuries were reported, no evacuations had to take place, and no roadways were blocked for extended periods of time. We were very fortunate and our staff performed very well applying hands-on CSX Railway Incident Training we hosted at our station in 2016 followed by AMTRAK response training.”

As of 10 p.m. Aug. 6, CSX reported that all cars had been removed from the derailment and the rail had been repaired allowing for limited rail travel at lowered speeds, Ray said. CSX crews will remain in the area into next week clearing debris and restoring the surrounding track area while removing old rail materials. During the response to the derailment, LF-R crews utilized equipment recently purchased for these types of incidents, Ray noted.  These included a new custom command engine, an off-road military transport vehicle used to survey the wooded area of the crash site and a Polaris 4-seat UTV.

LF-R officials credited Kershaw County E911 Communications Center with providing critical, professional, and timely information to help immediately locate the derailment and communicating specific safety information concerning the hazardous materials being carried in the derailed tanker car involved to ensure responders could protect themselves, CSX crews and citizens near the derailment area.

The material was identified as solid Hexamethylenediamine being delivered to INVISTA, less than 2 miles north of the crash site. This material poses very dangerous properties hazardous to responders and the public when released from its rail transportation tanker vessel, Ray said.

The derailment was determined to have been caused when the train struck a bulldozer located on the tracks near a downed tree, which was also on the tracks. The incident is currently under investigation by CSX Railroad and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.

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