CSX train hauling ethanol derails in Spartanburg - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

CSX train hauling ethanol derails in Spartanburg

Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to CSX train derailment. (July 26, 2014/FOX Carolina) Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to CSX train derailment. (July 26, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to train derailment. (July 25, 2014/FOX Carolina) Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to train derailment. (July 25, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to train derailment. (July 25, 2014/FOX Carolina) Spartanburg fire and Hazmat crews respond to train derailment. (July 25, 2014/FOX Carolina)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Emergency crews are expecting clean up to last throughout Friday after a CSX train hauling 90 cars full of ethanol derailed in the city of Spartanburg, according to the fire chief.

Spartanburg Fire Chief Marion Blackwell said the train's conductor called for help around 1:30 Friday morning, after three of the train's cars came off the tracks near Brawley Street. 

Two of the cars were carrying ethanol, a highly flammable chemical, and the other was carrying sand. A CSX spokesperson said the train was headed from Decatur, IL, to Pelzer.

"The car carrying sand was what CSX was using as a buffer car, to separate the train's engines and the cars carrying the ethanol," Blackwell said. 

He said the sand car was laying on its side, while the two cars carrying ethanol were completely upside down.  Luckily, neither of the ethanol cars were leaking, and CSX later determined they were in stable condition, ensuring there was no threat to the public.

"Could've had a spill, or a release of the product, could've had a fire," Blackwell said. "A lot of things that could have gone wrong but didn't. And we're very fortunate."

As a precaution, Hazmat and EMS crews will remain on scene and the fire department has an evacuation plan in place should anything go wrong. 

"Right now it's in the container and everything looks stable and in real good shape," Blackwell said. "Trains come through Spartanburg at a very low speed, so when they did come off the track, it didn't have any speed behind it, so therefore it didn't have a lot of damage to the cars and we are fortunate there."

PHOTOS: Crews on scene of Spartanburg train derailment

Once CSX investigates the cause of the accident, Blackwell said they will detach the upright cars and remove them from the area. Then he said they will bring in a crane to lift and flip the derailed cars back onto the track and pull them out of city limits, with the chemicals still inside.

Blackwell said it will take a while to investigate and clear the area as crews will have to cut a path in the woods to get the heavy machinery through to where the cars derailed. He said though some traffic may be slightly impacted nearby, they are working to detach some of the cars to get them moving out of the way.

At last check CSX, said the scene should be completely cleared by 5 p.m. Friday. 

Brawley Street is blocked, but main roads in the area are open.

Stay with FOX Carolina for updates.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation) All rights reserved.

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