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Train derailment clean up continues

By Dawn Burleigh

After a morning train derailment knocked out the power in Mauriceville Thursday morning as children were arriving for school, the area was under evacuation through Thursday night as hazmat cleanup continued.

A Kansas City Southern train derailed along State Hwy. 62 and Farm to Market Road 1130, just west of the State Hwy. 62 overpass, in Mauriceville.

The derailment involved 25 rail cars – 10 rail cars empty, and 15 rail cars loaded. Two hazmat ethylene oxide cars and one hazmat propylene oxide car derailed, but all three are intact and not leaking. Two hazmat monoethanolamine cars derailed and were leaking a corrosive liquid.  The leaks were contained, and the product was containerized for proper disposal. As the product from these cars present hazards related to direct contact, and not respiratory exposure, the product release was mitigated without harm to the general public. Four confirmed non-hazmat tank cars were breached, and leaking a petroleum product that did not represent a health risk to the general population. The full train consist has been provided to public safety officials on scene.

Due to the incident, a power outrage has occurred affected 2,383 customers and they remained without power until approximately 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Approximately 600 residents are affected.

The designated evacuation area which was reduced to Farm to Market Road 1130 at Len Drive East to Morvant Road will remain in effect while crews work on removing the train debris today.  State Highway 62 from Highway 12 south to Farm to Market Road 1078 will also remain closed. Anyone living in this affected area should remain out of the area while hazmat cleanup continues.

The Mauriceville Middle School and Mauriceville Elementary School campuses will be closed Friday, October 30, 2020, as the roads around the Mauriceville campuses are inaccessible.

All Mauriceville Elementary and Mauriceville Middle School students attended class virtually through TEAMS. High School students living in Mauriceville who could not get to the school on their own were required to attend virtually through TEAMS as well. Buses were unable to run their routes on the Mauriceville side of the District.

All Little Cypress campuses and bus routes operated normally.

KCS is working quickly with the local and state agencies to clean the spilled products. The main line remains closed and trains are not currently being re-routed around the incident. The area will be reopened to the public as soon as it is safe to do so. No injuries have been reported. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation and will be reported to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). KCS works to comply with all FRA rules for the safe movement of freight transportation.

If you live in this designated area and need to shelter, contact the Red Cross at 1-866-526-8300.