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BLADENBORO, N.C.– A CSX train traveling from Hamlet to Wilmington on Saturday, Feb. 2, derailed causing one car containing anhydrous ammonia to tip over forcing more than 10 percent of Bladenboro’s population, or about 200 residents, to be evacuated from their homes. No injuries were reported at the time of the accident.

Photo shows CSX train derailment Feb. 2, 2013 in Bladenboro, North Carolina

ABC11 News reported that officials said 10 of the 105 cars overturned and one was full of ammonia. Captain Rodney Hester with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office told ABC11 that the car carrying ammonia was not leaking.

“Hazmat has deemed there is no leak at this time however CSX wants to go ahead, due to the way the tanker is positioned they want to off load the ammonia which is going to be a time consuming process,” Hester said.

Bladenboro Police Sergeant Kevin Rouse, who was first to arrive on the scene, said his instincts and training kicked in. “Once I realized that the train had derailed, I went ahead and made contact with my communications center,” Rouse said.

Rouse said police were able to do that smoothly and quickly, but the evacuation of one apartment complex where most of the residents are handicapped required some extra help. “We had EMS standing by with us,” he said. “They assisted us with anyone who had wheelchairs or walkers or anything like that.”

CSX representatives told the media that there were no leaks of andyrous ammonia, however, there was a small release of two gallons of a flammable liquid, which was safely collected.

Crews worked through the night cleaning up. All of the cars were safely removed, but traffic was halted while crews worked on rebuilding the track.

Residents were able to return to their homes around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Blog post by Gordon, Elias & Seely, a FELA lawyer and North Carolina railroad injury lawyer who publishes train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States.

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