Clean Up Continues After Train Derails

June, 27, 2005--Posted at 1:40 P.M. CST

WALNUT RIDGE-It happened in less than a minute and now the clean-up continues.

Nearly 20 cars jumped the tracks just south of Walnut Ridge on Friday; their contents spilling onto and near Highway 63. Potassium hydrochloride and sulfuric acid littered the area as Region 8 HAZMAT crews examined the situation.

Just three days later, the remnants of the accident still remains. We spoke with Burlington Northern Public Relations Manager, Joe Faust and he said, "...We will continue the cleanup process until no evidence of this accident remains."

The Lawrence County Sheriffs Department remained on the scene Monday to direct traffic along the highway. Bulldozers and backhoes continued to scrape off the contaminated dirt and remaining chemicals so that crews could transfer the material for proper disposal.

The official cause of the derailment was track warping due to high heat and low rainfall. The faulty track was replaced and rail traffic is open again as the work continues. Cleanup should take no more than two more weeks.