Evacuations Lifted After Train Car Derailment

Emergency officials say precautionary evacuations have been lifted in Handley after a train derailment this morning.

Carolyn Charnock, director of 911 services for Kanawha County, says the evacuations were ordered while authorities determine if the chemicals on the train pose a danger to the public.

Charnock says officials from CSX Corporation have told authorities the train was carrying hazardous materials, but nothing had leaked from the 17 cars that derailed about 4:45 this morning.

CSX spokesman Gary Sease says 12 of the 17 cars that derailed contained hazardous materials. The cars are part of a 99-car train heading to Cincinnati.

Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Jessica Greathouse says the cars contained sodium hydroxide, liquid petroleum gas, chlorine and benzene.

Sodium hydroxide is widely used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical compound in the manufacture of pulp, paper, textiles, drinking water and detergents.

About 500 to 600 people live in Handley, which is about 20 miles southeast of Charleston. Evacuees are encouraged to go to East Bank Middle School, where a temporary command post was relocated from Pratt Elementary, which officials said was too close to the derailment.

Click the link above to view the entire story from NewsChannel 3's Jennifer Cottrill.

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