Union Pacific Officials: Analyzing train derailment data could take a week

Union Pacific Officials: Analyzing train derailment data could take a week
Source: Addis Police Department
Source: Addis Police Department

ADDIS, LA (WAFB) - Officials with Union Pacific say it could take several days or a week to analyze the data on the cause of the train derailment in Addis, La on Tuesday.

The derailment happened around 1:30 p.m. at the interchange on Peter Messina Road. Four chemical tankers were involved.

Officials ordered the evacuation of a 1,000 foot area from the site, in the Acadian Crossing and Sunset neighborhoods. A shelter-in-place was issued for other homes in those neighborhoods.

After the derailed cars were uprighted, and officials determined there were no leaks in the full rail cars, the evacuation and shelter in place was lifted.

The area was evacuated from 7 p.m. Tuesday until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials said the four Union Pacific cars were en route to Livonia. The chemicals on the train were sodium hydroxide, propylene oxide, propylene dichloride and nitrogen blanket purge.

"We were in the process of assembling the train so it could leave the north side of the yard," said said Union Pacific Media Relations Director Jeff DeGraff. "After the derailment, the rest of the train was taken back to the yard. The affected rail cars, we put them back on the tracks and moved them to a secure location in the yard so we could hold them and off load the contents. We haven't been able to start that process yet because we have to locate empty tank cars that are capable of hauling the contents. That can take a couple days depending on where they are located."

"As far as determining the cause, we're still early in that process," said DeGraff. "Our immediate focus was to get the cars up and begin the repairs on the tracks. We're in the process of getting the data we need. We have removed the section of track that was damaged and we have a data recorder on the train that tracks data, so we will review all of that. When we analyze all of the data, we can determine the cause. The process could take several days, or a week."

Officials said the evacuation was a precaution, in the event something would happen when crews turned the train cars back upright. Officers with the Addis Police Department went door-to-door to inform residents of the evacuation and to assist.

"This was a minor incident that we take very seriously. Any derailment we take very seriously, but it's something we were able to take care of and get back to business. Fortunately, the yard in Addis had several tracks so we were able to continue all other shipments. The derailment did not impact main line," said DeGraff.

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