Cleanup begins following derailment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2007


BELOIT &045; The cleanup has begun at the site parallel to Highway 22 about 12 miles southwest of Selma where a freight train derailed Sunday afternoon.

Representatives from M&B Railroad arrived at the scene Sunday evening and have worked around the clock assessing the damage. Alabama State Troopers rerouted on County Rd. 45 to Highway 80, a 10-mile detour.

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Company officials do not know what caused the eastbound train to derail and are awaiting the results of an investigation.

Trooper John Reese, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said Monday the Mississippi-based freight company has agreed to pay for law enforcement officers’ overtime to secure the site. The cleanup may take a week, Reese said.

Don Vincent, senior operations manager for M&B Railroad, arrived Sunday evening. Vincent said Monday railroad officials have been on site since he arrived.

Pam Cook, director of the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, was on site coordinating with representatives from M&B Railroad shortly after the accident occurred after 3 p.m. The cars were loaded with a variety of products, including newsprint and vinyl chloride.

According to the Emergency Response Guidebook, vinyl chloride is a gas that is &8220;extremely flammable&8221; and unstable. The gas could be &8220;easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames.&8221; Temperatures Sunday evening were reading between 94 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. There were no evacuations.