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Derailed tanker burns in Ky. with no end in sight

Associated Press Modified: November 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm •  Published: November 1, 2012
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Officials had expected the fire to burn itself out within a couple of hours, but more than 24 hours later, it was unclear exactly how long it would burn.

"We can't get up and look in the hole and take any measurements with the conditions as they are," Gupton said.

Evacuated residents who had lined up at a P&L outreach center to receive financial assistance were left with uncertainty.

"I've never heard anything about how long it's going to be, I guess we're just going with the flow," said Casey Bynum, a West Point resident who had evacuated with her six children.

P&L Railway were reimbursing those forced from their homes for lodging, food, lost wages and other expenses. They can also receive $100 per day for adults and $50 for each child for each day they are displaced.

The train derailed on a line that runs between Paducah in western Kentucky and Louisville, which is home to rubber manufacturers and other chemical plants, most concentrated in the Rubbertown neighborhood.

The train derailed near Dixie Highway, a main corridor between Louisville and Fort Knox. Nine of the 13 derailed cars were carrying hazardous chemicals. The train was traveling from the company's headquarters in Paducah to its Louisville switching facility, said spokeswoman Bonnie Hackbarth. She said she did not know whether Louisville was the final destination for the chemical cars or if they were going elsewhere.

Records provided by the company show it reported a total of 13 derailments to the Federal Railroad Administration since 2008. No injuries, casualties or evacuations were reported, the chart showed.

CSX listed Paducah and Louisville Railroad as one of its 51 majority-owned subsidiaries included in its annual report to the Surface Transportation Board, an arm of the Department of Transportation that regulates railroad rates, services and transactions.

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Associated Press writer Janet Cappiello in Louisville contributed to this report.