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Aug 4, 2013 10:54 PM by Tina Macias

Jindal: Chemicals leaking from Lawtell train derailment

The train that derailed in Lawtell is leaking chemicals and at least one of two cars carrying a hazardous chemical, vinyl chrloride, is damaged.

That's according to Gov. Bobby Jindal who flew into St. Landry Parish to speak about the situation a little after 9:30 p.m. tonight.

"Although it's not leaking at this moment, it does have signs of damage," Jindal said. The damage has to be assessed before residents can return home, he said of the vinyl chloride.

US 190 near the accident site will be closed for at least two days as the situation is assessed. As of now, 101 homes have been evacuated and 30 families have checked into the evacuation check point, and four are looking for shelter.

"Anytime you have chemicals leaking into the enviroment, that's a serious issue," Jindal said. "Nobody knows the extent of the damage. We'll get that in the next 24 hours."

8 PM UPDATE:
A 1 mile radius evacuation is being enforced by St. Landry Sheriff Deputies and State Police. Evacuees can receive more information at The Delta Grand Theater, 120 S. Market Street, Opelousas. As of right now, approximately 50 homes have been evacuated.

The bad weather delayed state police from evaluating the situation because of the weather, says St. Landry Parish Sheriff spokeswoman Megan Vizena, so it's unclear how long the evacuation will last.

The Red Cross and Union Pacific representatives are stationed at the Delta Grand.

The evacuation zone includes:
St. Theresa Avenue, US 190 from Desiree Road to J M-La Fleur Drive, Frank Road between Summer road and US 190, Pine Loop, Ammo Lane, Audubon Road, Patty Street between Hilton Road and Acadiana Road, Berry Road, Teal Lane, Charlene Richard Road between Berry Road and Acadiana Road, Acadiana Road between Airline Road and US 190, Wisdom Road between Gapevine Road and Desiree Road.

UPDATE 6:10 PM

Lawtell Train derailment update: St. Landry Parish deputies are evacuating all residents within a mile radius of the crash site: US 190 at Frank Road. Twenty-six of the 76 cars derailed this afternoon, and some of the derailed cars were carrying flammable materials including lube oil and vinyl chloride.

Evacuation area:

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office has confirmed that they are on scene of a train derailment in Lawtell near HWY 190 and Frank Road. The Sheriff's office tell us, the Union Pacific train derailed just after 3:30pm. The State Police hazmat team has been called to the scene. Injuries are unknown at this time.

There are 26 confirmed cars derailed at this time, one of which is a flammable liquid some of the cars are carrying corrosive material and flammable materials.

"The cars that derailed include lube oil and other products. There was some vinyl chloride on there," Union Pacific spokesperson Raquel Espinoza says.

The train included a total of 76 rail cars and two locomotives. At least one residence has been evacuated and Union Pacific has dispatched an emergency response team.

"We're going to go in there and assess the situation and do what we need to do to put the cars back on the track," Espinoza says. "A lot of times it takes us sometime because we want to make sure we keep the public safe."

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