Homes evacuated after train derailment in Petal

PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) – More than a dozen railroad cars derailed in Petal just after midnight Friday.

Petal Police Chief Matthew Hiatt said 18 cars came off the tracks near the intersection of Central Avenue and U.S. Highway 11.

Norfolk Southern, the train company involved, said one of the cars that overturned was leaking denatured alcohol, which is used for fuel.

While the chemical does not pose an immediate threat, according to Hiatt, several homes in the area have been evacuated as a precaution.

Personnel and contractors from the train company who specialize in environmental cleanup and recovery are currently on the scene and have contained the chemical.

Petal Police Department has opened a temporary shelter the Petal Civic Center.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has been called in to assess the scene.

First responders have set up a perimeter around the derailment, closing Highway 11 and several roads in Petal.

Central Avenue from Highway 11 and North George and Highway 11 from Central Avenue to Evelyn Gandy Parkway are closed until further notice.

According to Norfolk Southern, the train was on its way to Hattiesburg when the derailment happened and they are now investigating the cause of it.

Officials at the scene were unable to give an estimate on how long the cleanup could take.

The Petal School District announced that there may be minor delays to city bus routes in the area of N/S Railroad Street, and the Center for Families and Children (CFFC) will be closed today but all other school and offices will operate as normal.

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Categories: State News

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