Judge approves Graniteville settlement

June 25, 2007

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) -- A federal judge has approved a settlement that pays thousands of dollars to hundreds of people injured in a train derailment that released a toxic cloud over the town of Graniteville.

US District Judge Margaret Seymour gave final approval to the agreement between railroad owner Norfolk Southern and a pool of nearly 480 people claiming they suffered seriously personal injury after the crash.

Attorneys on both sides said they were pleased with the settlement.

In January 2005, 5400 people were evacuated when a Norfolk Southern train rear-ended a parked train.

The wreck ruptured a car carrying chlorine and released a poisonous cloud over the tiny mill town, killing nine people and injuring 250.

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