Update - Updated 12:20 pm
The Cincinnati Enquirer
CSX train derails, chemical spills into
WILMINGTON, Ohio - HAZMAT crews and railroad and environmental
officials were working today to clean up a creek and contain a
hazardous chemical spill from a 68-car CSX train that
derailed, forcing evacuations at a nearby state park.
Of the 16 cars that derailed
Sunday, two were tanker cars carrying sodium hydroxide
solution, which is used to make paper, soap and fabrics, said
CSX Transportation spokeswoman Kathy Burns.
One of the tankers spilled
about 15,000 gallons of the solution, but EPA officials aren't
sure how much spilled into the creek, which is a few hundred
yards upstream from the lake at Cowan Lake State Park.
The solution can burn skin if
it comes in contact with the body, but it is not an inhalation
hazard, Burns said Monday.
Police dispatcher David Allen
said several swimmers and boaters were evacuated from the lake
area as a precaution and about 30 people went to Clinton
Memorial Hospital to be checked out. There were no injuries.
The train was headed from
Buffalo, N.Y., to Cincinnati. Burns said most of derailed cars
contained paper. The cause of the derailment is still under
investigation, she said.
HAZMAT crews and officials from
the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and CSX were working
today to contain the spill about a mile south of this city.
Wilmington is about 60 miles southwest of Columbus.
Wilmington Fire Chief Phil
Brewer said Monday that authorities were still trying to
determine how much, if any, of the chemical had reached the
lake. He said neither the lake nor the creek supply the area's
''The material spilled is
heavier than water, so it went to the bottom of the creek that
feeds into the lake,'' said Mr. Brewer. ''We have been damming
up the creek with heavy rock and sand, then using light rock
and laying pipes high so that any water that flows into the
lake will not carry the chemical with it.''
Andy Thompson, an Ohio EPA
spokesman, said the agency recommended that people don't go in
Cowan Creek or have livestock near the water.
The lake remained closed today
while cleanup and testing continued.