As of yesterday afternoon, the thick cloud of smoke and dangerous flames continued at the site of the Kentucky train derailment on Tuesday.
Homes, businesses and schools in the Zoneton community were still evacuated as firefighters worked around the clock to extinguish flames. Reports say that there were no serious injuries resulting from the crash and chemical fire. However, at least 24 people were examined at a hospital after the incident.
Clean-up of the accident will take some time, according to officials, and may pose an environmental threat.
Three other cars must be drained of their cargo of 90,000 gallons of butadiene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber, so the liquid can be confined to a pit and burned off separately, Gov. Ernie Fletcher said. Workers started digging the pit today.
The chemicals released from the 12 cars that derailed “are pretty toxic, but when they burn they break down a whole lot,” said Jeremey Urekew, a spokesman for Bullitt County Emergency Management.
Two other cars were carrying hazardous materials that could pose an environmental threat, but they were not near the fire. The train of four locomotives and 80 cars had been headed to Louisville from Birmingham, Ala.