Louisville, KY – A train derailment in Kentucky caused dozens of homes to be evacuated due to hazardous materials leak concerns. The train reportedly had a “small leak” of butadiene, the chemical used in the manufacture of rubber.
Emergency officials told residents near who lived near the train derailment in southern Jefferson County to stay in their homes until told they could leave the area, according to the New York Daily News. The accident happened at approximately 6 am on Monday. The possible hazardous materials leak occurred near the Dixie Highway as they train traveled from Paducah to Louisville.
P&L Railway President Tom Garrett reports that the train was carrying a total of 57 cars. Two crew members working on the train were not hurt during the incident. A total of 40 cars were forced off the track during the accident.
WLBT reports that 34 homes near the scene were evacuated as a precaution. The derailment caused traffic jams along the Dixie Highway for many hours. The incident was labeled with a Level 3 HazMat alert due to the possible leak of the colorless and odorless chemical used to make rubber. Pleasure Ridge Park firefighters who declared the hazardous materials label noted that it is the highest level used for such incidents.
Butadiene is an extremely explosive material that cannot be contained with water. Emergency crews used foam to clean up the spill. The use of foam also reportedly kept the release of fumes to a minimum. Other chemicals being transported on the Kentucky train include sodium hydroxide, hydrochloride, calcium carbide, and methyl isobutyl ketone.