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Crews extinguish Kentucky derailment fire that prompted town to evacuate, rail operator says

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LIVINGSTON: Rail operator CSX said Thursday that a chemical fire at a Kentucky train derailment that caused evacuations has been completely extinguished.
CSX spokesperson Bryan Tucker said in a brief email that “the fire is completely out.” He said that authorities and CSX officials are evaluating when to encourage displaced residents to return home, and they will release more information later Thursday.
The CSX train derailed around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near Livingston, a remote town with about 200 people in Rockcastle County. Residents of the town were encouraged to evacuate.
Two of the 16 cars that derailed carried molten sulfur, which caught fire after the cars were breached, CSX said in a statement.
It’s believed that the fire released the potentially harmful gas sulfur dioxide, but officials have not released results of measurements taken from air monitoring equipment that was being deployed Wednesday night.
On Wednesday, Cindy Bradley had just finished cooking for Thanksgiving when an official knocking loudly urged her to leave her small Kentucky home as soon as possible because a train had derailed.
She ended up at Rockcastle County Middle School in Livingston — unsure what was to come next.
“It’s just really scary. We don’t know how long this is,” Bradley told WTVQ-TV on Wednesday night, surrounded by dozens of cots. “This could be tonight, this could be three weeks, who knows.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems, depending on the concentration and length of exposure. The gas is commonly produced by burning fossil fuels at power plants and other industrial processes, the EPA says.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in the county, assuring crews all the help from the state they need. He asked the public to keep in mind the emergency workers and people forced to spend Thanksgiving away from home.
“Please think about them and pray for a resolution that gets them back in their homes. Thank you to all the first responders spending this day protecting our people,” the governor said in a statement Thursday.
CSX promised to pay the costs of anyone asked to evacuate, including a Thanksgiving dinner.



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