UPDATE | Clean-up after Trenton train derailment on schedule

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- The Edgefield County EMA Director say the clean-up at the train derailment in May is on schedule.

Officials say the cars still left will be cut up for scrap metal. They say all hazardous materials are now gone from the site.

Officials expect all rail cars and scrap metal will be removed by mid-August, and all clean-up should be done by September.

UPDATE | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- The Edgefield County EMA says the clean up on all waste from the train derailment in April has nearly been completed.

All grading and resurfacing in the area for proper drainage has also been completed. EMA says all that is left to do is to cut up or transfer the remaining train cars and clean underneath them.

24/7 security is at the train derailment scene until those remaining cars are completely removed.

UPDATE | Friday, April 24, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Edgefield County Emergency Management officials have said crews are still cleaning up after a Norfolk Southern train derailed earlier this month.

Environmental workers are monitoring air quality and making sure there are no lasting environmental effects. Edgefield County EMA said they do not believe there will be long-term effects.

Norfolk Southern is paying for off-duty Edgefield County deputies to monitor the area, where the derailment happened, around the clock. It's to make sure no one tampers with the area, Edgefield County EMA said.

Crews plan their work on the tracks while trains aren't running. The work has not affected the schedule of trains traveling through the area.

There is no definite timeline on when the clean-up will be finished. An end date is pending the weather and how fast work can get done.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Norfolk Southern said the track is open again after the train derailment Friday. Rick Harris with Norfolk Southern said all the cars derailed in Friday night's derailment are upright.

The first train ran through the site of the derailment around 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Harris said.

The evacuation for the four homes on Salters Pond Road was lifted as of 6:00 p.m. Sunday, Harris said.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Norfolk Southern crews have arrived in Edgefield County to assess the train derailment.

Rick Harris with Norfolk Southern confirms there are 36 trains derailed and investigators are unsure of the amount of damage. Officials hope to get the cars off the track by late Saturday night to assess the damage to the track.

There are about fifty to sixty people, including contractors working in shifts on scene. Harris said about 1,300 feet of roadbed and track will be rebuilt.

The four homes on Salters Pond Road remain evacuated while crews bring in big equipment to fix the derailment, according to Norfolk Southern's Director of Corporate Communications Rick Harris.

The train was coming from Savannah to Linwood, North Carolina and traveling the line from Augusta to Columbia, South Carolina, Harris tells 12.

The derailment held off some trains in Augusta and Columbia but it is not a busy route so they did not shut it down, Harris said.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Emergency Management Director of Edgefield County said 36 cars are off the track where a train derailed Friday night.

According to Suzy Spurgeon, Edgefield County director of Emergency Management, two locomotives are back on the rails, they never overturned, they just jumped the track. There are about 36 cars where six cars should be. Spurgeon calls that the 'crumpled' effect.

Clean-up could take a few days. All tanker cars are secure and there are no leaks detected. However, an emergency plan is in place if they do start to leak, Spurgeon said.

Four homes on Salters Pond Road are still evacuated while crews investigate, Spurgeon said.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Norfolk Southern officials have said 31 cars derailed when a train struck a tree across the railroad tracks Friday night.

The train hit a tree at 8:45 p.m. Friday. It got lodged in the lead locomotives wheels and caused the train to jump the tracks, Rick Harris with Norfolk Southern said.

Originally, South Carolina Emergency Management reported 39 cars derailed but Norfolk Southern confirms it was 31 cars.

The train had two locomotives, 52 loaded cars, and 30 empty cars. It weighed 7,722 tons and was 5,405 feet long, Norfolk Southern officials said.

The train was traveling from Savannah to Linwood, North Carolina. Some of the derailed cars were carrying ammonium nitrate, which is used as a fertilizer. Other cars were carrying anhydrous ammonia, which can be dangerous, according to Rick Harris with Norfolk Southern.

Between 25 and 30 homes within a one-and-a-half mile radius of the derailment were evacuated and residents were sent to Mt. Canaan Baptist Church.

By 1:00 a.m., it was determined there was no chemical leakage and all but residents of the three homes closest to the derailment were allowed to return home, Harris said.

Norfolk Southern has said they don't know if there is damage to the tracks. Three “re-railing” companies are set to arrive Saturday to get the cars back up on the tracks. They should be able to determine the extent of the damage once the cars are re-railed, Harris said.

No injuries were reported.

Friday, April 10, 2015

TRENTON, S.C. (WRDW)- Crews on the scene said a Norfolk Southern train derailed on Salters Pond Road at Highway 121 Friday night between 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

A total of 39 cars derailed, according to South Carolina Emergency Management's Twitter account. No leaks have been reported and the scene has been turned over to Norfolk Southern.

Earlier in the evening, Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division confirmed 15 cars derailed. One car carrying ammonium nitrate spilled and another car carrying anhydrous ammonia did overturn but nothing spilled, Becker said. The other cars are not dangerous and have no spills, Becker said.

Becker said there is no danger to citizens at this time. The anhydrous amonia could be dangerous if it spilled, but there is no evidence of a leak, Becker said. Becker said the ammonium nitrate that spilled is dry fertilizer and does not pose a risk.

According to OSHA, exposure to ammonium nitrate could cause irritation of eyes, respiratory tract and skin. It could also cause a cough, sore throat, headache, eye redness and pain. It does not list any severe risks.

Edgefield County Emergency Management issued an emergency evacuation. Residents living one and a half miles around Salters Pond Road at the intersection of Highway 121 were asked to evacuate immediately to Mount Canaan Church on Highway 25 in Edgefield County.

Thirty people were evacuated as a precaution, according to SCEMD. At approximately 2:00 p.m., SC Emergency Management began allowing everyone, except those living on Salter Pond Rd., to return home. The Red Cross is on scene assisting anyone who was evacuated.

Aiken County Hazmat was called to the scene for an unknown chemical spill.

Massey also tweeted, "Emergency responders believe the scene is stable, but they will continue to monitor overnight. No plan to expand evacuation area."

No injuries or fatalities were reported.