Two Separate Train Crashes Cause Major Damage

At least eleven people have been treated for the effects of smoke from burning chemicals, after Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007, train fire in Bullitt County.

Several CSX train cars derailed and burned just south of Louisville, shutting down both directions of I-65 and forcing evacuations.

A CSX spokesman said the train was carrying hazardous materials. The blaze produced a massive column of black smoke in the mostly rural area.

Authorities ordered an evacuation near the wreck, including an elementary school.

“We’ve got several chemicals there and to our knowledge that’s an irritant whether it’s inhaled or direct irritant to the individuals out there and that’s the reason for evacuation,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said.

The CSX spokesman said the train consisted of four locomotives and 80 cars headed from Birmingham, Alabama to Louisville. He said 41cars were loaded with freight, the rest were empty.

The cause of the derailment has not been determined. A Kentucky National Guard unit was mobilized to help authorities check the quality of the air near the wreck.

CSX Railroad officials are also trying to determine why four cars rolled off a siding onto a main rail line in Clark County.

Then traveled several miles into Estill county, colliding with a pair of locomotives yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2007.

The crash and subsequent fire destroyed the four cars and two locomotives and sent a cloud of acrid smoke skyward. There were no injuries, although many people left their homes when state police called for an evacuation.

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