Chlorine Leak Reported In Eastern Georgia Train Derailment, Evacuations Underway

Units On Scene

Fox54 / wrdw.com 

A Haz-Mat team from the City of Augusta Fire Department is currently preforming damage assessments on a train derailment in Jefferson County, GA where an active Chlorine Leak was reported post derailment.   Local reporters are reporting a chlorine gas smell, and a “fog effect” in the air.  This incident comes on the final hours of the 14th anniversary of the Graniteville, SC train derailment in which 9 were killed by chlorine leaks, and thousands were displaced overnight into the coming weeks following the incident.

Norfolk Southern has released this statement:

“Norfolk Southern can confirm that a train derailed shortly after 8 p.m. near Bartow, Ga. in Jefferson County. Some of the rail cars on the train were carrying chlorine, and chlorine odors and a cloud have been reported in the area. Our first priority is the safety of local residents, responders, and employees. Local officials have ordered an evacuation of residents in the area. Please follow their instructions. We are at the scene working with first responders and environmental contractors. We will provide updates as soon as more information is available.

HazmatNation has received information stating that recon teams are advising a Hydrochloric Spill on scene

JEFFERSON COUNTY, GA (WFXG) – There has been a train derailment in Jefferson County, and the town of Bartow is now being evacuated. The train derailed outside of town between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday night. The train was hauling chemicals, including chlorine, that is the cause for the evacuation of Bartow. Our crew on the scene says the chlorine is causing a fog effect in the air and they can smell the strong odor. EMA Director Jim Anderson said the crash happened along Highway 24 between Louisville and Bartow. There are no injuries reported at this time due to the crash.

A timeline of events:

9:08 p.m.
Officials with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confirms they’re on the scene of a train derailment near Bartow, Ga., about ten minutes from Louisville, Ga. The location of the derailment is reportedly just off of Friendship Church Road and Newman Smith Road. They said the fire department has been called to the scene as well.

10:22 p.m.
Officials say no injuries have been reported in the train derailment. As a precaution, the train crew has been transported to the Jefferson County Emergency Room to evaluated. Right now, they’re not sure how many cars have derailed.

10:48 p.m.
The Bartow Fire Rescue Chief tells New 12 an evacuation has been ordered for Bartow after a train has derailed in the area. Cross Community Church in Louisville is taking evacuees who have nowhere to go. Details on the evacuation are limited at this time.

11:10 p.m. The Augusta Fire Department has hazmat units on scene. Fire officials tell us there is some sort of spill. No word on what that is.

12:02 a.m.
Emergency Management officials confirm to News 12 chlorine has spilled after a train derailed in Bartow, Ga. At this time, officials have not released how much chlorine has spilled. Norfolk Southern Corporation is investigating.

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