Unified Command established for West Virginia Train Derailment, response continues

Response crews for the West Virginia train derailment continue to monitor the burning of the derailed rail cars near Mount Carbon next to the Kanawha River, Feb. 18, 2015. The West Virginia Train Derailment Unified Command continues to work with federal, state and local agencies on the response efforts for the train derailment that occurred near Mount Carbon, Feb. 15, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Angie Vallier)

Response crews for the West Virginia train derailment continue to monitor the burning of the derailed rail cars near Mount Carbon next to the Kanawha River, Feb. 18, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Angie Vallier)

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, CSX, the West Virginia Departments of Environmental Protection and Military Affairs & Public Safety, including the National Guard, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and local agencies established a unified command in response to the West Virginia Train Derailment near Mount Carbon on the Kanawha River, Monday.

“The top priorities for response personnel remain the safety of the community and responders, and mitigating the impact to the environment,” said Capt. Lee Boone, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the West Virginia Train Derailment.

Response crews are continuing to deploy environmental protective and monitoring measures on land, air and in the nearby Kanawha River as well as a creek near the tracks. The response crews were able to deploy about 500 feet of containment boom as a precautionary measure to limit potential impact on the environment. The use of additional boom material is being evaluated.

On-scene assessments have determined that 27 cars derailed and 19 were involved in fires. Response teams have removed the rail cars that were not involved in the derailment. Response teams are beginning to remove derailed cars that have not been involved in the fires. Several small fires continue to burn at the derailment site. When safe to do so, CSX will begin transferring oil from the damaged cars to other tanks for removal from the site.

No rail cars entered the Kanawha River in this incident.

The train consisted of two locomotives and 109 rail cars (107 tank cars and two buffer cars). It was traveling from North Dakota to Yorktown, Virginia.  All of the tank cars were the CPC 1232 models.

One person was treated for possible respiratory problems and released, but no other injuries have been reported. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

A community outreach center has been established by CSX to address community needs as a result of the train derailment. The outreach center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Glass-In Riverside Room at the Glen Ferris Inn on U.S. Route 60 in Glen Ferris. Local residents can call 877-835-5279 for additional information or assistance.

A Joint Information Center has been established at the West Virginia Train Derailment Incident Command Post in Montgomery, West Virginia to disseminate response information for the incident.

The media is requested to use the phone numbers listed below for incident response inquiries and interviews:

  • 1-877-TELL-CSX (1-877-835-5279) or 610-453-4153

Additional updates will be provided, as more information is available.

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