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Cleanup, evacuation continues after train derailment

3 years 8 months 3 weeks ago August 05, 2013 Aug 5, 2013 Monday, August 05 2013 August 05, 2013 5:00 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

LAWTELL- At least 150 people will spend another night away from their homes as officials 60 miles west of Baton Rouge work to clean up hazardous chemicals after a train derailed Sunday.

The 76 car train was traveling to Livonia when it derailed in St. Landry Parish.  There were a total of 23 cars that came off the tracks, and 14 of them were carrying hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride and corrosives.

Eric Vidrine had to evacuate his wife and five children last night.

"We pretty much had to pack up our staff and go," Vidrine said.  "They didn't know where to send us.  They said to go on 190 and head east."

Emergency officials told News 2, 1,800 feet of rail road track is currently in the process of being repaired after it was damaged by the derailment.  The repairs should be completed by Monday night, and another train will be brought in to remove the hazardous chemicals.

"The evacuation will be for at least another 24 hours, hopefully we can have it done by then," Col. Mike Edmonson said. 

Meanwhile, Vidrine said he's willing to put up with headaches as long as his family is safe.

"I wouldn't put them in any kind of situation to harm them," Vidrine said.  "They say we've got to go, we've got to go."

Union Pacific Rail Road is paying for the evacuees to stay in hotels.  They are also paying for expenses they have incurred over the derailment.

Today, residents were allowed back to their homes with a supervisor to collect medicines and get pets. 

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

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