ALICEVILLE, AL – A train carrying tanker cars full of crude oil derailed on November 8 causing an explosion and fire in a wetlands area just outside Aliceville, AL. The city of Aliceville is located in Pickens County, Alabama in the western part of the state about 45 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa.
The mishap occurred shortly before 1:00 a.m. on November 8, as a Genesee & Wyoming train was moving crude oil through a marshy wetlands area in western Alabama. Several tanker cars derailed as the train was crossing a wooden trestle and began piling up when the oil ignited and a fire broke out.
At least 12 rail cars derailed and three of them BLEVE’d (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion). Witnesses in the area felt the ground shake as a result of the explosion.
The train had 90 cars, two locomotives and was enroute to Walnut Hill, FL from Amory, MS.
Firefighters decided to let the cars burn out by themselves because the area was so remote and inaccessible.
There were two railroad employees aboard the train who managed to escape injury.
The cause of the accident is unknown but is currently under investigation.
Blog post by Gordon, Elias & Seely, a FELA lawyer and Alabama railroad injury lawyer who publishes train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States.