A train headed to Louisville, KY from Birmingham, AL derailed just south of Louisville in Bullit County just before 9am this morning. At least one of the train’s 80 cars was carrying the hazardous chemical cyclohexane. The harmful chemical breaks itself down as it burns and it can be extremely dangerous to the central nervous system if inhaled of ingested. After thorough inspection of the fiery chemical fire, the Kentucky Department of Emergency Management decided to let the fire burn itself out.
A nearby elementary school evacuated all of its students and moved them to another school. Residents within 1 mile of the crash were also evacuated, and all Bullit County residents were advised to stay inside to avoid inhaling any of the harmful fumes. Interstate 65 is closed for a 23 mile stretch, which has posed many problems for workers trying to deliver goods to businesses. Smoke from the fire has also prompted the closing of 2 runways at the Louisville International Airport.
The cause of the train derailment is unknown and under investigation. Both crew members on the train were not injured but 17 individuals have sought treatment for injuries related to the fire at a nearby hospital. Their injuries have not been reported as serious. Currently, it is unknown how long the area must remain evacuated. “Our priority continues to be the safety and security of the citizens in the area,” said Gov. Fletcher of Kentucky. “We will aggressively monitor and evaluate the situation and do everything possible to ensure the fire is managed safely.”