St. James train derailment chemical leak evacuations

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A train derailment with a chemical leak has led to evacuations in St. James Parish. Hydrochloric acid spilled from a train car on Wednesday afternoon. The crews worked through the night to clean up the mess. The evacuation order will remain in effect from Thursday morning. Anyone living in the evacuation zone pictured below should go to the Lutcher Senior Center: Emergency services announced that those staying in hotels would be extended their stay for more nights. Officials are also coordinating with people who have pets in their homes to get those animals out of the evacuation zone. “As we do not know the duration of the evacuation, we are cautiously extending hotel stays for another night. We will let residents back in as soon as the situation allows. If you have absolute necessities you need from home, or a pet at home late, please report to the checkpoint and we will coordinate an officer to escort you to and from your home with continuous air surveillance,” parish officials said in an update on Facebook. Residents who chose to stay in hotels are asked to keep their receipts for refund. The following roads will remain closed: LA 44 is closed from Antioch Street to Rev. dr. Samuel Jones Street LA 642 from LA 44 to Sugarhouse Street is completely closed LA 44 west of LA 3193 is only open to residents The Coast Guard has part of the Mississippi River Wednesday night, but river traffic has since reopened. St. James officials said a train carrying 20,000 gallons of acid was involved in a derailment Wednesday afternoon. The train car’s belly tore open and officials say there is no way to contain it. On Thursday morning, three train carriages from the derailment are still on the track. The car that spilled the acid still had product in it, and crews are working to figure out how to reduce the acid without spilling more. Crews struggled overnight with fumes from the spill, but officials say most of the spilled acid on the ground has been neutralized. The evacuation area has been evacuated and more than 150 people have been asked to leave their homes. Officials do not expect more evacuations but said people will not be allowed back into their homes until the area is safe. Everyone in the current evacuation area has been counted, but the crew will re-enter the zone to make sure everyone has been evacuated. Drones will also be deployed to monitor the evacuation site. Residents in the affected area may experience breathing problems because hydrochloric acid is an irritant. Hydrochloric acid is most commonly used in cleaning products. St. James officials say the last time a train derailed and caused an evacuation was in 1992 in Grammercy. There is no estimated timeline for when the evacuations will be lifted or when the spill will be cleaned up, but crews say good progress has been made. Anyone with elderly relatives in the evacuation zone is requested to call 225-562-2200 so that arrangements can be made to evacuate them.

A train derailment with a chemical leak has led to evacuations in St. James Parish.

Hydrochloric acid spilled from a train car on Wednesday afternoon. The crews worked through the night to clean up the mess.

The evacuation order will remain in effect from Thursday morning.

Anyone living in the evacuation zone pictured below should go to the Lutcher Senior Center:

[image id=’5a2cbdeb-51ac-4cb8-a938-eddd06ff82dd’ mediaId=’cf36cc96-2032-4c9a-9b60-cc740a663dfe’ align=’center’ size=”medium” share=”true” caption=” expand=” crop=’original’][/image]

Emergency services announced that for those staying in hotels, their stay would be extended by more nights.

Officials are also coordinating with people who have pets in their homes to get those animals out of the evacuation zone.

“As we do not know the duration of the evacuation, we are cautiously extending hotel stays for another night. We will let residents back in as soon as the situation allows. If you have absolute necessities you need from home, or a pet at home late, please report to the checkpoint and we will coordinate an officer to escort you to and from your home with continuous air surveillance,” parish officials said in an update on Facebook.

Residents who chose to stay in hotels are asked to keep their receipts for refund.

The following roads will remain closed:

  • LA 44 is closed from Antioch Street to Rev. dr. Samuel Jones Street
  • LA 642 from LA 44 to Sugarhouse Street is completely closed
  • LA 44 west of LA 3193 is only accessible to residents

The Coast Guard closed off part of the Mississippi River on Wednesday night, but traffic on the river has since reopened.

St. James officials said a train carrying 20,000 gallons of acid was involved in a derailment Wednesday afternoon.

The train car’s belly tore open and officials say there is no way to contain it.

On Thursday morning, three train carriages from the derailment are still on the track. The car that spilled the acid still had product in it, and crews are working to figure out how to reduce the acid without spilling more.

Crews struggled overnight with fumes from the spill, but officials say most of the spilled acid on the ground has been neutralized.

The evacuation area has been evacuated and more than 150 people have been asked to leave their homes. Officials do not expect more evacuations but said people will not be allowed back into their homes until the area is safe.

[image id=’ffec5752-e22b-4836-88cc-8613253fd8b3′ mediaId=’2910e739-43ab-4f49-b079-e034af40312b’ align=’center’ size=”medium” share=”true” caption=” expand=” crop=’original’][/image]

Everyone in the current evacuation area has been counted, but the crew will re-enter the zone to make sure everyone has been evacuated. Drones will also be deployed to monitor the evacuation site.

Residents in the affected area may experience breathing problems because hydrochloric acid is an irritant.

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Hydrochloric acid is most commonly used in cleaning products.

St. James officials say the last time a train derailed and caused an evacuation was in 1992 in Grammercy.

There is no estimated timeline for when the evacuations will be lifted or when the spill will be cleaned up, but crews say good progress has been made.

Anyone with elderly relatives in the evacuation zone is requested to call 225-562-2200 so that arrangements can be made to evacuate them.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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