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Authorities say Bovina Drive crossing to be blocked ‘for the foreseeable future’

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Seventeen train cars derailed at and around the Bovina Drive rail road crossing on Tuesday night, prompting a massive response from all public safety agencies in Vicksburg and Warren County.

These tanker cars carrying sodium hydroxide were derailed, but are reportedly uncompromised (photo courtesy of Fire Boss Jerry Briggs)

“We have a lot of assets out here, just trying to keep the public safe is our goal right now,” Fire Coordinator Jerry Briggs said.

At least two of the tanker cars on the train were reported to be leaking, and many of the tanks on the train were carrying the highly corrosive substance sodium hydroxide, so authorities followed all precautions and protocols to ensure responders and the public at large remained safe.

A Warren County firefighter is being helped into a hazmat suit by Chief Mitch Lange (photo by Jerry Briggs).

The 77 car train derailed just before 7:30 p.m., knocking out a power line and transformer in the process.  Entergy crews staged on the scene until they were cleared by E3 Environmental, MDEQ and Kansas City Southern that it was safe to begin work in the area.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace says that he has been informed that there is no reason to evacuate the area at this time, but that traffic will be impacted at least overnight, possibly longer.

“You’re not going to be able to cross the railroad tracks on Bovina Drive, so people in the Bovina community that live south of the interstate are going to have to use Warrior’s Trail.  They’re not going to be able to cross Bovina Drive at the railroad tracks and this is for the foreseeable future,” Pace said. “The train is derailed east and west of Bovina Drive and on the crossing, so it’s going to be some time before those rail cars are clear.”

The incident is still under investigation and there has been no word as to what caused the train to derail.

 

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