An Eastbound Alabama Southern Railroad train derailed just East of Armstrong Rd around 7:20am Tuesday morning. E-911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies and District 3 volunteer’s to the rail line halfway between Lehmburg Rd. and New Hope Rd. The 101 car train lost 12 cars en route to Alabama Southern’s main rail yard in Tuscaloosa. The parent company of Alabama Southern, WATCO Co., said the rail itself dislodged, sending the cars off of the south side of the steep embankment.
Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene when first responders thought they smelled diesel fuel, but were quickly dismissed after it was discovered that there was no leakage. WATCO representatives said the average weight of the overturned cars was somewhere near 78,000 lbs each. Included in the derailed cars were tankers containing turpentine, nitrous oxide and methyl plenol(paint thinner) alongside two boxcars filled will paper and a car carrying giant coils from the Newcorr plant.
District 3 firefighters and Hazmat teams were called back to the scene around 11:00am when another worker thought he smelled fumes, but were quickly released once again. WATCO said yesterday that no chemicals were spilled from any tankers, and residents living nearby have nothing to fear. The rail line was open for business late Tuesday night, but some cars will still need to be removed later this week when larger cranes can be brought in. WATCO said the EPA has been to the scene, and found no leaks or environmental damage.0