Falmouth businesses, residents starting long cleanup process after derailment

Falmouth starts long derailment cleanup process
Falmouth starts long derailment cleanup process
Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 11, 2016

The City of Falmouth is working to clean up the railway and surrounding area more than 24 hours after two dozen train cars derailed, causing a citywide-shut down on Wednesday afternoon.

Businesses near the scene of the derailment lost power or access to major roads during all or part of the day Wednesday.

Edwardo's Pizza and Subs was without power until about 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to manager Chrissy Bezold.

"We tried to save the most expensive stuff," Bezold said. "One store in town still had electric and was generous enough to let us store our stuff over tere."

While they may have missed the lunch and dinner rush, a surprise from the CSX crews more than made up for it; they asked the restaurant to deliver food for more than 200 workers during Thursday's lunch hour.

"We were totally not expected any of that, so it was just a total surprise," Bezold said. "CSX is being very generous with everyone in the community."

CSX also offered reimbursements to businesses and residents who experienced any losses due to the derailment, spokesman Rob Doolittle said.

"When an incident like this does occur, we have a massive network of support that moves in to quickly and safely recover," he said.

The Pendleton County Emergency Management Agency reported one tanker was leaking a liquid, but the substance was not immediately identified. A CSX Transportation representative said four cars were carrying sulfuric acid and that no hazardous materials leaked in the derailment.

CSX says the cleanup process takes time since they must monitor air quality to make sure nothing leaks or becomes a danger as they put the 24 cars back on the tracks or pull them away from tracks.

The train was transporting 76 loaded cars and 49 empty cars.

CSX crews worked late into the night Wednesday to investigate and clear the scene. A company spokesperson said local residents with questions about the derailment should visit the temporary CSX information center at Pendleton County High School between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

All roads into town were closed until about 3:30 p.m. Residents who live nearby were asked to stay inside and keep their windows shut. The Red Cross is offering assistance to people who have been evacuated from their homes; Flour Creek Church also is serving as a shelter. 

The Federal Aviation Administration placed a flight restriction over Falmouth just after the train derailed.

GALLERY: Photos from & above the scene

Sheriff Craig Peoples said he did not know what, specifically, the train was carrying.

Watch aerial footage of the scene:


Inspectors from the Federal Railroad Administration were headed to the scene Wednesday afternoon. The National Transportation Safety Board did not send any representatives to Falmouth but was monitoring the situation, a spokesman said.

According to Pendleton County emergency dispatchers, the cars derailed near Park Street at about 10:30 a.m. The train was traveling from Cincinnati to Atlanta, according to railroad company CSX.