Latest crude oil train derailment, Buhl, Alabama

Repost from Tuscaloosa News

Train derailment leads to evacuations in Buhl

No oil spilled, no one injured in 9-car accident

By Stephanie Taylor, June 16, 2014
Josh Jewell, a car shop supervisor for Alabama Southern Railroad, talks on a cellphone at the scene of a train derailment in Buhl on Monday. Jewell said the crash occurred at about 2:45 p.m. Monday afternoon. No one was injured, but seven crude oil tankers were totaled, as well as one box car. Jewell said the area will be cleaned up and the main line opened by today. Michelle Lepianka Carter | The Tuscaloosa News

Authorities ordered a mandatory — but temporary — evacuation Monday for some Buhl residents who live near the site of a train derailment.

Train cars carrying oil derailed near the 16000 block of Crosscut Drive and Sipsey Valley Road at 2:45 p.m., said Lt. Andy Norris, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. No oil was spilled, he said.

A total of nine rail cars derailed, and eight of them — seven tankers and a boxcar — were totaled.

Josh Jewell, a car shop foreman for Alabama Southern Railroad, said the cause of the derailment has not been determined but that about an eighth of a mile of track will need to be fixed.

He said the railroad hopes to have the main line reopened later today.

Immediately following the derailment, the sheriff’s department ordered everyone within 1,000 feet of the intersection to evacuate the area because of the threat of fire.

Only six residences were within that area, Norris said. People living in those homes were allowed to return after an hour and a half.

“We have asked people to evacuate as a precaution due to the fact that the rail cars are carrying oil,” Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ron Abernathy said.

The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency and Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service’s hazardous materials team responded to the derailment.

At about 4:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office posted on the department’s Facebook page that it was safe for residents to return to their homes.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident and determine its cause.

The derailment was at least the second such accident in West Alabama within the past 12 months.